Factbox: How dependent is Germany on Russian gas?

Pipes from the landing facilities of the ‘Nord Stream 1’ gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

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FRANKFURT/BRUSSELS, March 8 (Reuters) – Russia has warned it may close its main Nord Stream gas pipeline to Germany after Berlin suspended approval for a second line across the Baltic Sea in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Read more

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak’s comment reflects escalating tensions that have already driven gas prices in Europe to record highs.

Russia is Germany’s biggest supplier, supplying Europe’s biggest economy with just under a third of its gas.

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Here are key details about the German gas sector.


Germany imported 142 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in 2021, down 6.4% from 2020, according to foreign trade statistics office BAFA, which does not identify the origin of the imports .

Domestic gas consumption was 100 billion cubic meters in 2021, utilities industry group BDEW said.

Russian piped gas led imports in December at 32% of supply, followed by Norway at 20% and the Netherlands at 12%, according to data from the Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS).


In December, storage supplied 22% of its needs, ICIS analysis showed.

Germany has 24 billion cubic meters of underground storage, which is a quarter of Germany’s annual gas consumption.

A fifth of that is represented by Rehden owned by storage company Astora, itself owned by Russian gas producer Gazprom.

The storage is currently only 30% full, according to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe.

Domestic gas production peaked in the 1990s and now covers only 5% of annual consumption.

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Gas combustion accounted for 15.3% of German electricity production last year, according to BDEW.

The loss of a large portion of gas imports could necessitate a short-term increase in coal-fired generation or electricity imports from neighbors.

The situation is more serious in domestic heating, where gas heats half of Germany’s 41.5 million homes.

In the manufacturing industry, sectors such as ceramics cannot produce without fuel.

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Germany and Russia have had a strong energy partnership for decades.

Some 34% of German crude oil came from Russia in 2021, according to BAFA data.

Some 53% of the coal received by German power producers and steelmakers came from Russia last year, according to coal group VDKi.


Germany’s gas needs are expected to decrease in the future as the government seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Gas heating will be phased out over the long term in favor of heat pumps and other alternatives.

In power generation, however, gas use is expected to increase during a transition period as Germany gradually moves away from nuclear and then coal.

And the government warned in February that the need to reduce dependence on Russian gas due to the Ukraine crisis could slow those disposal plans. Read more

Future consumption will also depend on the speed of deployment of renewable energy in Germany and the possibility of exploiting low-emission hydrogen produced from renewable sources such as wind and solar to replace fossil gas.


Germany has presented plans for an LNG terminal, which, according to the Ministry of Economy, would have an annual capacity of 8 billion m3 and would be completed as quickly as possible.

Germany does not have domestic LNG infrastructure, but the Dutch Gate landing terminal, with a processing capacity of 12 billion cubic meters, supplies customers in western Germany.

Supply for the new terminal could also come from the United States, Qatar or elsewhere.

In January, Europe imported a record nearly 11 billion m3 of LNG, nearly half of which came from the United States.

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Reporting by Vera Eckert and Kate Abnett; edited by Alexander Smith and Jason Neely

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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