June 6, 2024

EU seeks more partners for early warning gas supply security system

The European Union is hoping to attract the participation of LNG-producing and consuming countries in an early warning gas mechanism it started together with Japan last year, as it continues to promote the need for continued preparedness in ensuring energy supply security amid various geopolitical tensions and Russia’s continued war with Ukraine.

"Russia’s continued war of aggression on Ukraine and the overall tension in many parts of the world call for continued vigilance and preparedness in the EU and elsewhere," ,"Kadri Simson, the EU’s Energy Commissioner, told Kpler in an interview. "We continue to closely monitor geopolitical risks such as in the Middle East and related supply routes. The extreme weather events we have experienced in recent years, such as heatwaves and droughts are unfortunately also our new reality."

The early-warning mechanism is aimed at fostering cooperation between regions, enhancing the exchange of relevant critical data for energy security across the consuming and producing regions to pre-empt and eventually tackle energy crises.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and its subsequent move to cut pipeline gas supplies to Europe plunged the region into an energy crisis, whose knock-on effects included tightened global LNG supplies, huge volatility and a surge to all-time high levels in European gas and Asian LNG markets.

“On energy security, we are pleased that both the EU and Japan recognize the importance of exchanging information about energy security incidents and their initial assessments of impacts and durations,” Simson said. “Both Japan and the European Commission are participating in the pilot phase of the new security of gas supply, the early warning mechanism for this purpose. We would now like to attract other partners to the mechanism, such as Australia, the US, (and) other major consumers, such as South Korea.”

In a speech at the Japan Energy Summit and Exhibition in Tokyo, which began yesterday, Simson said that Japan is a “key partner in designing the global energy security architecture, especially in relation to LNG.”

The EU and Japan agreed in July last year to work together to build common energy security standards. The early warning mechanism is part of a three-pillar dialogue focused on global security of supply, transparency of markets and reduction of methane emissions in the LNG supply chain. The EU agreed to share its security framework, strengthened during the 2022 supply shock, supported by a EU-wide gas storage policy and a tool to aggregate gas demand.

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