Russian LNG Successfully Permeates Western Sanctions


Source: TASS

Despite the headwinds of anti-Russian sanctions, the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia remains resilient. In December 2023, a record-breaking volume of LNG was shipped, and the story goes beyond the surging demand from South Asian countries. Europe continues to purchase Russian LNG, both through “gray import” channels and official transactions. Remarkably, even amidst frosty rhetoric, Japan also joins the ranks of Russian LNG buyers.

Breaking Records: The December Surge

Last month, Russia exported a staggering 3.2 million tons of LNG, marking an all-time high for the industry. This volume represents a 6.6% increase compared to the previous year and a 5.6% surge from the preceding month. Notably, over half of this LNG—1.9 million tons—originated from the “Yamal LNG” project. Furthermore, despite Western restrictions, the launch of the first train of Novatek’s “Arctic LNG-2” plant on the Yamal Peninsula proceeded without hindrance.

The Global LNG Landscape: A Tug of War

The global LNG market is currently in flux, with geopolitical dynamics at play. The quest for control over LNG resources serves as a powerful incentive, driving the United States to escalate tensions with Russia and, particularly, to drive wedges between Russia and Europe. However, Russia remains resolute. Vice Prime Minister Alexander Novak declared that by 2030, Russia aims to increase its share in global LNG production from 8% to 20%.

Diversification Strategies: Beyond Exports

Russian authorities are not solely reliant on LNG exports. They pursue a diversified approach, leveraging both international markets and the domestic arena. While the current focus lies predominantly on pipeline gas within Russia, strategic plans include the liquefaction of natural gas for domestic use. For instance, the gasification of the Kamchatka region will rely on LNG, providing a buffer against demand fluctuations and external market logistics. A well-executed diversification of supply routes between the West and the East will enhance market resilience.

As the energy landscape evolves, Russia’s LNG prowess continues to defy sanctions and geopolitical headwinds, making it a force to be reckoned with in the global energy arena.

Based on the post by TG-channel "СМП"