This is not the end of blue fuel. The gas rush in Europe will result in billions of investments in LNG

Luc Williams

Two American companies dealing in liquefied natural gas – Venture Global LNG and Cheniere Energy – they are to be at the forefront of entities starting new investments in the future, says a group of climate activists Global Witness in its report that analyzes Rystad Energy data. Also high on the list are industry-leading companies such as TotalEnergies and Equinor.

According to the report in total by 2033, the fossil fuel industry intends to invest $1 trillion in gas production for Europea region whose main goal is to reduce CO2 emissions.

The demand for LNG will grow

After Russia cut off most supplies of blue fuel following the war in Ukraine, demand for liquefied gas in Europe will continue to grow. According to the International Energy Agency consumption of this fuel in Europe will increase by 3% this year., which is slightly more than the global average and slightly less than 4%. highest estimated growth in Asia.

LNG projects under the microscope

Although gas is less polluting than other fossil fuels, gas projects around the world are increasingly being scrutinized for their impact on climate change, raising questions about which facilities will ultimately be built.

Joe Biden’s administration on Friday paused approval of new U.S. licenses for LNG exports while it investigates the climate impacts, which could disrupt billions of dollars of investment. The Global Witness study was developed before this decision was made.

Planned investments in LNG production over the next decade / Bloomberg

Europe is largely dependent on gas imports from the US and Qatar, the world’s main LNG suppliers. The Old Continent also wants to increase its own production to serve as a bridge during the energy transformation. Germany, the region’s largest economy, is considering supporting the massive expansion of its fleet of gas power plants, which could ultimately burn hydrogen in the future.

“A Dangerous Path”

“Europe is on a dangerous path by doubling its consumption of fossil gas,” said Dominic Eagleton, senior fossil fuel campaigner at Global Witness. He called on the European Commission to set 2035 as the date for phasing out this fuel.

Gas production forecasts for Europe show that 6.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide will be released into the atmosphere by 2033, which is equivalent to France’s annual emissions over more than twenty years.

In its study, Global Witness analyzes forecasts of operating and capital expenditure for gas production prepared by Rystad researchers. The report covers demand and projects for all of Europe (excluding Russia), not just EU countries.

LNG contracts versus emission reduction ideals

Europe is generally at the forefront of regional efforts to reduce climate change. Next month European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, will recommend a 90% emissions reduction target. by 2040. However, this does not mean complete eliminating fossil fuels.

The question is whether the contracts signed by energy companies meet these ideals. On the eve of last year COP28 climate summit in Dubai The EU said it would push for a global phase-out of fossil fuels well before 2050. Meanwhile, two days later, Shell signed a 27-year deal to buy Qatari LNG for the Netherlands. TotalEnergies signed a similar agreement.

Global Witness analysis shows that these two companies, along with Exxon Mobil Corp., Equinor and Eni SpA, will spend a total of $144 billion on gas supplies needed by Europe over the next decade.


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