Russian threats redraw the global energy map – The Washington Post

by | Apr 30, 2022 | Energy

Placeholder while article actions loadAlgeria has long been a medium-stakes player in the global game of oil and gas exports, but the energy crisis in Europe has created an opening for the North African nation to up the ante. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi flew to Algiers just a few weeks ago to ink an agreement to boost natural gas imports from Algeria by 40 percent through an underused pipeline that runs beneath the Mediterranean Sea.Other oil and gas exporters that were not previously front and center in the global energy conversation, such as Angola, Nigeria and the Republic of Congo, are also emerging as potential players for the future of Europe. And European nations hurrying to unshackle themselves from Russian gas are turning to more reliable, but costly, liquefied natural gas providers such as Qatar and the United States.The moves are part of a scramble in Europe to respond to the energy crisis prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent days lashed out at his foes in the West by cutting off natural gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for refusing to pay in rubles. Other large consumers of Russian gas, including Germany and Italy, have sought to reassure their citizens that they are seeking workarounds if Putin expands the cutoff as he has threatened.AdvertisementBut under almost every scenario, the next 18 months are going to be a harrowing time for Europe, as the impacts of high prices ripple around the world and governments struggle to power their factories, heat their homes and keep their electricity plants running. There are not enough alternatives in the near term to avoid major economic pain in the coming winter if Russia shuts down supply. This month, for instance, the German central bank warned that the country’s economy could shrink by 2 percent if the war persists.“This is a very dangerous game that is playing out,” said Edward Chow, an energy security scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who previously worked in the industry for decades. “I don’t know how this is supposed to end. It feels like it is going to end in a very bad place for both Weste …

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