The map shows physical gas flows in Europe in 2011. It was compiled by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) based on data from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Click on map to get a larger version.
The units are billion cubic meters (BCM). Note that blue numbers are production and red numbers are consumption. If blue is bigger than red the country is a net exporter of gas. Within Europe, only Russia, Norway and The Netherlands are gas exporters. All the rest import gas, including the UK. The green arrows are liquefied natural gas imports most of which comes from Africa and The Middle East. Also note trans Mediterranean pipeline imports from N Africa: Libya, Tunisia Morocco, and Algeria, the latter being the big exporter. These gas flows have huge energy security and geo-political implications.
UK electricity used to be generated from gas produced from our own North Sea. Some of that gas is now produced in Qatar, is liquefied, floats on a boat through the Suez Canal, to be re-gassified in Wales (and other import terminals) before being piped to power stations where about 53% of the energy contained in the gas is simply lost as waste heat. This all costs money and is inherently insecure.
The UK used to be a gas exporter but since the peak and decline in UK gas production we have in the space of a few years become a large net gas importer. Norway and The Netherlands produce gas from similar reservoirs to those found in the UK. The production in those countries will peak and then decline one day in the not too distant future which will further undermine European energy security.
I’m still on holiday – back Monday.