Russia’s closer ties with China and the Asian market should not be seen as a threat to Europe.
That’s according to a senior researcher at The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.
Speaking at the International Petroleum Week, James Henderson said: “Although there’s a mix of anger at the European Union and its attitude towards Russia, which may or may not be justifiable, there is a gradual shift in strategy towards a more, let’s says fair if you like, come and get our gas if you want it, type of attitude to marketing gas in Europe.”
Sanctions placed against Russia’s state gas producer Gazprom has made Russia diversify its gas strategy towards the Asian market, he added.
Mr Henderson said the demand for Russian gas and in particular Gazprom is not “desperately positive” because of political and economic impacts such as the sanctions.
“European gas demand has stagnated, demand for Russian gas in Europe has obviously been impacted by politics as well as economics. We have the desire to diversify, underpinned by the availability of cheap coal and the rise of renewables,” he added.
Mr Henderson believes the shift in Russia moving towards China’s gas market will not have a gas shortage for Europe because there is a lot of gas available. Instead, it will be a negotiation around the price of gas for Europe.