EU moves toward joint natural gas purchase to curb shortages

Mar 22, 2022, 9:16 AM | Updated: 9:47 am

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is moving toward the joint purchase of natural gas and ensuring its storage facilities are nearly full to try to avoid another crisis tied to its dependency on Russian energy, officials said Tuesday.

The 27-nation bloc acknowledges it has been far too reliant on Russia for natural gas and oil and has been struggling to find the right mix of sanctions to punish the Kremlin for invading Ukraine while still requiring Russian fossil fuels.

Low levels of gas storage “brought us to big difficulties in January where we have been kind of scrambling for additional gas for European consumption,” EU Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said.

With energy prices high and supplies low, the EU is looking at its last crisis — the COVID-19 pandemic — as a blueprint. The member states joined up to buy vaccines in huge quantities for an equitable distribution.

Sefcovic said there was a “need to take good lessons from how we tackled the procurement of vaccines. I think that there is also support for common purchase of gas among the member states.”

“I expect that this would be the approach which should be also endorsed by the heads of states and government,” during a two-day summit starting Thursday, Sefcovic said.

The draft conclusions of the summit obtained by The Associated Press include that “with a view to next winter, Member States and the Commission will urgently … work together on the joint purchase of gas, LNG and hydrogen.” The details of such a deal would still need to be worked out.

And they will have enough clout to get a good deal, Sefcovic said.

“Europe should definitely use better its enormous weight, the scale of the European economy if it comes to the negotiating of energy prices,” he said.

EU leaders already agreed in principle at a March 11 summit to phase out dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal imports by 2027.

The EU imports 90% of the natural gas used to generate electricity, heat homes and supply industry, with Russia supplying almost 40% of EU gas and a quarter of its oil.

Although the latest European sanctions against Russia — including a ban on transactions with the Russian central bank — are unprecedented, the bloc has been careful to avoid disrupting the flow of energy.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an ina...
Associated Press

Florida lawmakers to meet next week on Disney, immigration

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida lawmakers will meet next week to complete a state takeover of Walt Disney World’s self-governing district and debate proposals on immigration and election crimes, as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to leverage national political fissures ahead of an expected White House run. Republican leaders of the Legislature, in coordination with […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Johnny Thai, 11, receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a pediatric vaccine clinic for chil...
Associated Press

California won’t require COVID vaccine to attend schools

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Children in California won’t have to get the coronavirus vaccine to attend schools, state public health officials confirmed Friday, ending one of the last major restrictions of the pandemic in the nation’s most populous state. Gov. Gavin Newsom first announced the policy in 2021, saying it would eventually apply to all […]
19 hours ago
Part of the 988helpline.org website is photographed Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. A cyberattack caused a ne...
Associated Press

Feds say cyberattack caused suicide helpline’s outage

WASHINGTON (AP) — A cyberattack caused a nearly daylong outage of the nation’s new 988 mental health helpline late last year, federal officials told The Associated Press Friday. Lawmakers are now calling for the federal agency that oversees the program to prevent future attacks. “On December 1, the voice calling functionality of the 988 Lifeline […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Workers at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tenn., walk by a Nissan Altima sedan on May 15, 2012....
Associated Press

US board clears path for mini-union vote at big Nissan plant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Fewer than 100 employees out of the thousands who work at Nissan’s auto assembly plant in Tennessee can hold a vote on whether to form a small union, the federal labor board has decided. The ruling Thursday by the National Labor Relations Board overturns a June 2021 decision by one of […]
19 hours ago
A person gambles as betting odds for NFL football's Super Bowl are displayed on monitors at the Cir...
Associated Press

Super Bowl prop betting increasing in popularity

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jay Kornegay was behind the counter in 2004 when someone approached with $5,000 to bet on the Super Bowl but had no idea how to decide. The man, not a regular sports bettor, thought for a few moments and decided to put it all on the Carolina Panthers to score exactly […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Ford, Starbucks fall; Clorox, Gilead Sciences rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that traded heavily or had substantial price changes Friday: Ford Motor Co., down $1.09 to $13.12. The automaker reported disappointing fourth-quarter earnings and said its costs are too high. Amazon.com Inc., down $9.52 to $103.39. The online retail giant’s fourth-quarter profit slumped and missed analysts’ forecasts. Alphabet Inc., down $2.96 […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
EU moves toward joint natural gas purchase to curb shortages