Podcast’s Essential Bites:
[7:56] AC: "[Gas is] about a quarter of the energy consumption roughly [in Europe]. So Europe is average. About [...] 1/3 to 40% is used in the residential commercial sector, mainly for heating purposes, when we have about a third in the power generation. [...] And then we have the rest being used in the industry."
[8:27] AC: "Industrial consumers, depending on how they have hedged their contracts, can already see an effect in terms of the price [...] [of] gas. Many residential users are seeing an increase. But in some countries, like France for example, the regulated gas prices have been frozen since October last year, so the prices are not increasing. But people are still feeling that there has been an increase in general in terms of energy costs."
[12:21] TM: "Gas has never played a critical role in the revenues of the Russian budget. It's oil that matters. Gas is providing for less than 15% of hydrocarbon revenues of the Russian Federation. Gas is about geopolitics. Oil is about money. And basically, it is the sacrifice that the Russian government is ready to make in order to obtain much larger geopolitical goals."
[13:06] AC: "I think there has probably been a misconception from European politicians that Russia will continue to deliver gas, whatever. So they would be in the driving seat. And we have totally failed to recognize that in fact it is Russia, which is in the driving seat."
[15:23] AC: "What is really, really frustrating for me is that we have been at economic war with Russia for almost five months, and people have not been looking at the demand side of the equation. [...] We needed to talk about energy efficiency, about conservation, [...] about really doing something concrete a long time ago. [...] I don't think the governments have been really telling citizens, this is the worst energy crisis probably of your lives. [...] And it's not only about natural gas, it's about power, because for every single kilowatt of power that you're generating, if you're using gas, you need two units of gas."
[18:40] TM: "The European Union has imposed an embargo on Russian coal, which used to be very important for the supplies of the European consumers, more than 40%. So coal is also in constraint. So it's not only nuclear, hydro, natural gas, and don't forget oil, there is an oil embargo starting by the end of this year. [...] It's really extremely difficult to remove the key energy producer from the global market. [...] If not for the slowdown in China, currently, it would have been even worse. And [when the] lockdowns in China are over, and China will pick up growing again, and then we are even in a worse situation this winter."
[29:01] TM: "Gazprom has lost already 10% of its production during the first half of 2022, which is quite significant. But actually, it's not that critical, because two thirds of the Russian gas output is consumed domestically anyway. [...] Gazprom [...] is used to huge swings due to the seasonality. It's about 30% up and down in winter, and in summer. So keeping all overall production at 30% lower level than normal is something that Gazprom is technically prepared to do."