Portugal could “turn off the tap” to Russian gas tomorrow

 In Energy, News

Portugal’s minister of Foreign Affairs, João Cravinho said that Portugal doesn’t need Russian gas and could “turn off the tap” on its gas “tomorrow”.

Speaking at the end of the informal meeting of the foreign ministers of NATO countries in Berlin last week, Cravinho said: “What is making it difficult is not in the political field, but in the technical and economic field. There is an asymmetry in the impact of sanctions. Portugal, for example, would have no difficulty turning off the tap on Russian gas or oil tomorrow, Other countries have a dependency, particularly Hungary, but also Slovakia and Bulgaria have difficulties”.
Only around 10% of Portugal’s liquified natural gas and oil needs came from Russia before the watch on 24 February 2022. Some 40% of Portugal’s energy dependence comes from fossil fuels, the rest normally comes from more sustainable sources such as solar, wind, biofuels and hydropower.
That said, increases in purchases of fossil fuels have risen dramatically over the past 12 months because the drought caused by a lack of rainfall has reduced the energy output of energy company EDP’s hydroelectric power stations in the North of Portugal as reservoir levels have fallen low.
Speaking after the meeting, João Cravinho added: These countries ask for support, they ask for transitional periods, they ask for, on the part of the European Commission, a strong investment in the development of other solutions, namely gas and oil pipelines and this, naturally, does not happen overnight”.
According to João Gomes Cravinho, at the level of the Member States, “Discussions continue, but the objective is shared by all, which is to cut European dependence on fossil fuels from Russia”.
On being asked about the deadlines for the 27 member states to reach an agreement on the 6th package of sanctions on Russia which was presented by the European Commission in early May, the minister said: “There will be solutions to satisfy everyone during the next couple of weeks”.
“We are all united on what is the fundamental objective, which is to reduce and eliminate dependence on oil and gas”, he said, adding that whatever solutions would be found, the 6th round of sanctions would “certainly have a very significant impact on the Russian economy and on Russia’s ability to feed its war machine”, said Portugal’s foreign minister.