Bellona’s new working paper analyzes Russia’s big LNG ambitions the Arctic

Project LNG 2. Photo: Novatek
Project LNG 2. Photo: Novatek

Опубликовано: 02/04/2024

Автор: Bellona

The document examines the current state of this sector, including the impact of international sanctions on it

In the midst of a global discussion on whether natural gas should be used as a transitional fuel and whether emissions from its extraction, production, transport and use are significantly less than those from other fossil fuels, Russia has developed ambitious plans to increase its own production of liquified natural gas (LNG) in the Arctic – a region with 75% of proven gas reserves in Russia – to raise its share in the international gas trade.

The use and production of LNG in the Arctic is a particularly fraught issue due to the region’s vulnerable climate. All operations with natural gas inevitably emit methane – a short-lived greenhouse gas 80 times more intense than CO2. Because of this, expanding LNG’s use as a shipping fuel and increasing its extraction in Arctic reserves is a matter of great concern to environmentalists.

Prior to launching their invasion of Ukraine, Russian authorities actively lobbied for the use of natural gas as a “green” solution in the international arena in a bid to prolong the use of fossil fuels for as long as possible. Indeed, gas exports are the lifeblood of the current political regime. Subsequent sanctions targeting Russian natural gas exports and related industries have curbed Russia’s ambitions, but certainly has not stopped them.

The newly published working paper by Bellona gives an overview of the Russian LNG sector with a focus on the current status and future projections of LNG production and use as ship fuel in the Russian Arctic. The influence of economic sanctions on Russian LNG development plans are also analyzed in the paper.

Bellona supports an appeal urging the EU and G7 countries to ban LNG imports from Russia, as well as its transshipment through European ports for exports to other countries. Along with strengthened economic sanctions on oil, the appeal will help shrink Russia’s budget revenues, and therefore, its ability to continue its military invasion of Ukraine.

Download a PDF of the report here.