UK Claims It Gets Just 3 Per Cent of Its Gas From Russia — And None via Pipelines

© REUTERS / ANTON VAGANOV / FILE PHOTO: The logo of Gazprom company is seen on the facade of a business centre in Saint PetersburgFILE PHOTO: The logo of Gazprom company is seen on the facade of a business centre in Saint Petersburg
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Gazprom company is seen on the facade of a business centre in Saint Petersburg - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.03.2022
Energy Minister Greg Hands claimed the UK has no direct gas pipeline links to Russia and only imports liquified gas on tankers from the eastern energy giant. But Britain is hooked up to other European countries that do receive Russian gas supplies, including the Netherlands — which exports more than it uses.
A British government minister has claimed the UK imports only three per cent of its natural gas needs from Russia — and that none comes via undersea pipelines.
Responding to written parliamentary questions, Business, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Greg Hands said the average annual gas consumption of a British household was roughly 12,200 kilowatt hours (kWh).
He added that the UK had imported about 21,506 Gigawatt hours of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from Russia over the past five years.
"According to the latest data available, in 2020 the average household used around 12,200kWh of gas," Hands said. "In that year less than 3 per cent of UK gas supplies came from Russia via LNG."
The MailOnline calculated that meant Russia heats around 1.75 million of Britain's 28 million homes, or 4.2 million people.
As part of sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, the British government has vowed to ban Russian oil purchases from 2023 and "explore" phasing out gas imports too. Russia has responded by requiring all European Union and NATO member states to pay for its gas in roubles, undermining the value of Western currencies.
Hands insisted that "The UK only receives direct gas in the form of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from Russia, since there are no gas pipelines directly linking the UK with Russia."
However, the UK's gas network is connected to those of other western European countries including Germany, France and the Netherlands, all of which import gas from Russia.
According to number-crunching website Statista, the Netherlands imported 11 per cent of its 36.6 billion cubic metre (m3) gas consumption from Russia in 2020 — but at the same time exported 39.9 billion m3. In 2018 the Netherlands pumped just over 30 gigawatt-hours of gas to the UK, equating to 2.64 billion m3.
"Once natural gas enters the UK transmission system, it is impossible to identify the distribution of specific molecules," Hands admitted.
A worker of Russian gas and oil giant Gazprom works on February 18, 2015 in Novoprtovskoye oil and gas condensates oilfield at Cape Kamenny in the Gulf of Ob shore line in the south-east of a peninsular in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, 250 km north of the town of Nadym, northern Russia - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.03.2022
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"Over the last five years (2017-2021), UK gas imports from Russia accounted for, on average, two per cent of the UK’s gas supply portfolio," the minister said. "On average, over the last five years (2017-2021), the UK received 21506 GWh of LNG from Russia."
Britain reportedly gets around half its gas from its North Sea fields and another third from nearby Norway.
The UK is also home to Europe's largest LNG terminal, the South Hook installation in Milford Haven in south-west Wales. Qatar Energy has a 67.5 per cent majority shareholding in the facility, with ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies having 24.15 per cent and 8.35 Per cent respectively. South Hook and the nearby Dragon terminal can potentially handle a quarter of UK gas consumption.
Qatar, one of the world's biggest exporters of natural gas from its Persian Gulf fields, has said it cannot replace Europe's Russian gas imports in the short term.
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