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The EU does not need more gas and oil from Norway, Algeria, USA

Brussels should say no to the expansion of fossil fuels by its suppliers

(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – Europe does not need to finance new fossil infrastructure nor the expansion of existing oil and gas fields. Both on its territory and on that of its main suppliers. In the coming years and decades, supply will be sufficient to fully cover European demand. In all transition scenarios. Today, choosing to push for the expansion of fossil fuels only risks wasting resources and making part of the bill fall on citizens.

The existing oil and gas projects in the EU and its main supplier countries, together with the already contracted volumes, are sufficient to meet the drop in European demand in scenarios aligned to the 1.5% heating limit of the Paris Agreement” explains an Oil Change International report published today. Brussels should therefore give up, and indeed press for the dismantling, of the expansion plans announced by countries such as Norway and Algeria, but also the United States.

The risks of Expansion of fossil fuels

The forecast starts from the Announced Pledges Scenario of the International Energy Agency (IEA) updated to 2023. In that scenario, the IEA assumes that all climate commitments made by governments and industries around the world until August 2023, including nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and long-term net zero emissions targets, will be fully and punctually respected.

Against this background, the report calculates, that Europe will not need new imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) or other fossil fuels. Because EU demand for fossil gas will fall by 32% by 2030. And already 5 years later, the supply that is already guaranteed by existing projects and contracts will exceed the demand. “If the EU achieves its long-term climate targets, the gas supply from the projects currently in production in the EU, Norway and Algeria and existing contracts is set to exceed demand by 2035,” the report explains.

Oil demand, for its part, will fall by 30% by the end of the decade. Date by which production from existing fields of the main EU suppliers reaches a peak. No expansion of fossil fuels to the EU energy market would therefore be necessary.

Any expansion of gas production, therefore, would lead to a surplus of demand. “The signing of new long-term gas supply contracts carries significant risks of oversupply. In the long term, pipeline and LNG gas imports beyond what is already contracted are only needed in a scenario where the EU fails to meet its climate targets and does not introduce further climate policies,” the report said.

The EU’s decision to phase out the supply of fossil fuels from Russia since 2022 has pushed oil and gas producers towards an expansion of fossil fuels. But “it is not necessary: the EU is heading towards zero net emissions, its demand for oil and gas is in structural decline and does not require any new production“, points out Murray Worthy of Zero Carbon Analytics and co-author of the report.

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