Next Sunday a methane tanker belonging to the Russian state company Gazprom from Cameroon arrives at the port of Sagunto with liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ship will unload on Monday 165,600 meters of fuel in the Valencian terminal. Since 2019, as revealed by ‘The Energy Newspaper’, Spain has not bought liquefied natural gas from Cameroon. The key is that the deal is being done with the Russian state firm, the only LNG manager in Cameroon.
Despite calls from the European Union to reduce the purchase of oil and gas from the Russians, Spain has increased in recent weeks the amount of gas it buys from Russia to levels not seen since December. Specifically, Spain buys 300 million euros of gas from Russia per month. Most enter through the port of Bilbao, but in this case they arrive in Valencia.
The ship with the cargo in the direction of the port of Sagunt is called Energy Intelligence (according to what can be verified in the port of call forecast of the Port Authority of Valencia) and has a capacity of up to 174,000 cubic meters of fuel. The methane tanker, which is practically full, comes from the port of Kribi in Cameroon and as soon as it is unloaded it will return to Kribi. The ship is currently north of the Canary Islands, according to data from the Vasselfinder positioner.
The Russian state company is the only LNG manager in the African country
The Energy Intelligence cargo is added to that of three other LNG ships that Spain has purchased directly from Yamal LNG, the main Russian liquefied natural gas terminal. Since 2018, Naturgy has signed a long-term supply contract (until 2041) with the company Yamal LNG, a consortium made up of 50% by the Russian company Novatek. That company exploits a field located on the Yamal peninsula in Siberia, considered the great gas pantry.
Russia is the fourth largest supplier of natural gas to Spain, with 8.58% of imports —compared to 40% for the rest of the European Union—. Algeria is the main supplier of gas to Spain through the Medgas pipeline and LNG tankers that transport LNG to regasification plants such as the Sagunt plant. Italy is trying to substitute its gas imports from Russia for those of Algerian fuel.
The Government assured yesterday that the situation in Italy “is not comparable” with that of Spain with regard to dependence on gas from Russia and reaffirmed that Algeria is “a strategic partner” and that the supply of the African country is guaranteed. 44.91% of the gas that Spain imports comes from Algeria. At a press conference after the Council of Ministers, the Government spokesperson and Minister for Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez, said yesterday that Italy’s dependence on Russian natural gas is close to 40%, while Spain’s is barely by 8%, in reference to the agreement reached yesterday by the transalpine country with Algeria to increase its gas purchases by 40%.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.