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Visualizing the EU’s Energy Dependency

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Visualizing the EU’s Energy Dependency

In response to Russiaโ€™s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. and EU have imposed heavy sanctions aimed at crippling the Russian economy. However, these bold actions also come with some potentially messy complications: Russia is not only one of the world’s largest exporters of energy products, but it is also Europe’s biggest supplier of these fuels.

As of October 2021, Russia supplied 25% of all oil imported by the EU, which is three times more than the second-largest trade partner. Naturally, the policies and circumstances that have led to this dependency have been under major scrutiny in recent weeks.

To help you learn more, this infographic visualizes energy data from Eurostat.

Energy Dependency, by Country

To start, letโ€™s compare the energy dependence of each EU member, both in 2000 and 2020 (the latest year available). This metric shows the extent to which a country relies upon imports to meet its energy needs.

Note that Denmarkโ€™s value of -35.9% for the year 2000 is not a typo. Rather, it means that the country was a net exporter of energy.

Country20002020
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria65.5%58.3%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium78.2%78.0%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ Bulgaria46.4%37.9%
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia48.5%53.6%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ Cyprus98.6%93.1%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czechia22.7%38.9%
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark-35.9%44.9%
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Estonia34.0%10.6%
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland55.5%42.0%
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France51.2%44.5%
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany59.4%63.7%
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece69.1%81.4%
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ Hungary55.0%56.6%
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland85.4%71.3%
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy86.5%73.5%
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Latvia61.0%45.5%
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น Lithuania57.8%74.9%
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ Luxembourg99.6%92.5%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น Malta100.2%97.6%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands38.3%68.1%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland10.7%42.8%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal85.3%65.3%
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด Romania21.9%28.2%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovakia65.1%56.3%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Slovenia51.9%45.8%
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain76.8%67.9%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden39.3%33.5%
Average56.3%57.5%

Over this 20-year timeframe, the EU-27 average country’s energy dependence has increased from 56.3% to 57.5%, meaning EU members became slightly more reliant on energy imports over those two decades.

Where Do EU’s Energy Imports Come From?

Looking further into energy imports reveals that Russia is the main supplier of crude oil, coal, and natural gas. Continue below for more details.

Crude Oil Imports

The EU imports more crude oil from Russia than the next three countries combined.

CountryPercentage of total
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia26.9%
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ถ Iraq9.0%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Nigeria7.9%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Saudi Arabia7.7%
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Kazakhstan7.3%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway7.0%
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡พ Libya6.2%
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States5.3%
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom4.9%
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Azerbaijan4.5%
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Algeria2.4%
Others10.9%

This shouldnโ€™t come as a surprise, as Russia was the worldโ€™s third largest producer of oil in 2020. The country has several state-owned oil companies including Rosneft and Gazprom.

Coal Imports

Coal-fired power plants are still being used across the EU, though most member states expect to completely phase them out by 2030.

CountryPercentage of total
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia46.7%
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States17.7%
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia13.7%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด Colombia8.2%
๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa2.8%
Others10.9%

Russia has the second largest coal reserves in the world. In 2020, it mined 328 million metric tons, making it the sixth largest producer globally.

Natural Gas Imports

Natural gas is commonly used to heat buildings and water. A majority of the EUโ€™s supply comes from Russia via the Nord Stream series of pipelines.

CountryPercentage of total
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia41.1%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway16.2%
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Algeria7.6%
๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Qatar5.2%
Others29.9%

Nord Stream 1 is the longest sub-sea pipeline in the world and was completed in 2011. It starts from the Russian city of Vyborg and connects to the EU through Germany.

Nord Stream 2 is a recently constructed expansion which was expected to double the projectโ€™s capacity. Germany has since halted the approval process for this pipeline in response to Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

What Happens Now?

In retaliation against Western sanctions, Russia has announced an impending ban on exports of certain goods and raw materials.

European gas prices skyrocketed in response, as many fear that Russia could cut off natural gas supplies. This, of course, would have very negative effects on both consumers and businesses.

In early March 2022, both the European Commission and the International Energy Agency (IEA) introduced proposals on how Europe could reduce its energy dependency.

We must become independent from Russian oil, coal and gas. We simply cannot rely on a supplier who explicitly threatens us.
– Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Cutting off oneโ€™s biggest supplier is likely to cause issues, especially when dealing with something as critical as energy. Few countries have the capacity (or willingness) to immediately replace Russian imports.

The proposals also discussed options for boosting Europeโ€™s domestic output, though the commissionโ€™s report notably excluded nuclear power. For various reasons, nuclear remains a polarizing topic in Europe, with countries taking either a pro or anti stance.

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Energy Shift

Which Countries Produce the Most Natural Gas?

Natural gas consumption reached a new all-time high in 2021, despite global efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

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The Largest Producers of Natural Gas

Which Countries Produce the Most Natural Gas?

Natural gas prices have risen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, exacerbating an already tight supply situation.

Making matters worse, Moscow has since cut gas exports to Europe to multi-year lows, sending Europeโ€™s gas price to almost 10 times its pre-war average.

Using data from BPโ€™s Statistical Review of World Energy, the above infographic provides further context on the gas market by visualizing the worldโ€™s largest gas producers in 2021.

Natural Gas Consumption at All-Time High in 2021

Natural gas is part of nearly every aspect of our daily lives. It is used for heating, cooking, electricity generation, as fuel for motor vehicles, in fertilizers, and in the manufacture of plastics.

The fuel is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas and non-renewable fossil fuel that forms below the Earthโ€™s surface. Although the Earth has enormous quantities of natural gas, much of it is in areas far from where the fuel is needed. To facilitate transport and reduce volume, natural gas is frequently converted into liquefied natural gas (LNG), in a process called liquefaction.

Despite global efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, natural gas consumption reached a new all-time high in 2021, surpassing the previous record set in 2019 by 3.3%.

Demand is expected to decline slightly in 2022 and remain subdued up to 2025, according to the International Energy Agency.

Region2021 Demand in Billion Cubic Meters (bcm)2022P (bcm)2025P (bcm)
Africa169172188
Asia Pacific895907990
Central and South America153147153
Eurasia634619632
Europe 604549536
Middle East564582627
North America1,0841,1081,116
World 4,1034,0834,243

The Asia Pacific region and the industrial sector are expected to be the main drivers of global gas consumption in the coming years

Natural Gas Production, by Country

The world’s top 10 producers of natural gas account for about 73% of total production.

RankCountry2021 Production (bcm)Share %
#1๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States934.223.1%
#2๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia701.717.4%
#3๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท Iran 256.76.4%
#4๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China209.25.2%
#5๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Qatar 177.04.4%
#6๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada172.34.3%
#7๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia 147.23.6%
#8๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Saudi Arabia 117.32.9%
#9๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway114.32.8%
#10๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Algeria100.82.5%
#12๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒ Turkmenistan79.32.0%
#13๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Malaysia 74.21.8%
#14๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ Egypt 67.81.7%
#15๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Indonesia 59.31.5%
#16๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช United Arab Emirates57.01.4%
#17๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Uzbekistan50.91.3%
#18๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Nigeria 45.91.1%
๐ŸŒ Rest of the World671.816.6%
๐ŸŒ Global Total4,036.9100.0%

Natural gas accounts for 32% of primary energy consumption in the United States, the worldโ€™s largest producer. Russia is the second biggest producer, and also has at least 37 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, the most in the world.

Chinaโ€™s natural gas production grew by 7.8% in 2021, and it has nearly doubled since 2011. This sustained growth in production is partly down to government policies incentivizing coal-to-gas switching.

Europeโ€™s Natural Gas Crisis

Russia has significantly reduced flows of natural gas to Europe since Western nations imposed sanctions on the Kremlin following the invasion of Ukraine. Before the war, the European Union (EU) imported about 40% of its natural gas from Russia.

The gas is transported by the Nord Stream system, a pair of offshore natural gas pipeline networks in Europe that run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

Russian energy giant Gazprom recently halved the amount of natural gas flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 20% of capacity, blaming Western sanctions for a delay in the delivery in a necessary turbine. EU officials say Russia is โ€œweaponizingโ€ its gas supply.

Amid tensions, the EU bloc outlined a plan to phase out dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Lithuania ceased Russian gas imports at the beginning of April. Estoniaโ€™s and Latviaโ€™s imports also dropped to zero at the start of that month. Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Poland all announced that they do not intend to renew long-term contracts with Gazprom.

Despite these efforts, Europe remains dependent on Russia for its supply of natural gas, at least in the short and medium term.

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Energy Shift

Visualizing the World’s Largest Oil Producers

Global oil production averaged 89.8 million barrels of oil per day in 2021. Here are the world’s largest oil producers.

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The World’s Largest Oil Producers

The world is in the middle of the first energy crisis of the 21st century.

High energy prices, especially for oil, gas, and coal, are driving decades-high inflation in various countries, some of which are also experiencing energy shortages. Russiaโ€™s recent invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the crisis, given that the country is both a major producer and exporter of oil and natural gas.

Using data from BPโ€™s Statistical Review of World Energy, the above infographic provides further context on the crisis by visualizing the worldโ€™s largest oil producers in 2021.

Oil Production: OPEC Countries vs. Rest of the World

Before looking at country-level data, itโ€™s worth seeing the amount of oil the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) produces compared to other organizations and regions.

Region/Organization2021 Oil Production (barrels per day)% of Total
OPEC31.7M35%
North America23.9M27%
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)13.8M15%
Rest of the World20.5M23%
Total89.9M100%

The OPEC countries are the largest oil producers collectively, with Saudi Arabia alone making up one-third of OPEC production. Itโ€™s also important to note that OPEC production remains below pre-pandemic levels after the organization reduced its output by an unprecedented 10 million barrels per day (B/D) in 2020.

Following the OPEC countries, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico accounted for just over a quarter of global oil production in 2021. Nearly 70% of North American oil production came from the U.S., the worldโ€™s largest oil producer.

Similarly, within the CISโ€”an organization of post-Soviet Union countriesโ€”Russia was by far the largest producer, accounting for 80% of total CIS production.

The Largest Oil Producers in 2021

Roughly 43% of the worldโ€™s oil production came from just three countries in 2021โ€”the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Together, these three countries produced more oil than the rest of the top 10 combined.

Country2021 Oil Production (barrels per day)% of Total
U.S. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ16.6M18.5%
Saudi Arabia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ11M12.2%
Russian Federation ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ10.9M12.2%
Canada ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ5.4M6.0%
Iraq ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ถ4.1M4.6%
China ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ4.0M4.4%
United Arab Emirates ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช3.7M4.1%
Iran ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท3.6M4.0%
Brazil ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท3.0M3.3%
Kuwait ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ผ2.7M3.0%
Norway ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด2.0M2.3%
Mexico ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ1.9M2.1%
Kazakhstan ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟ1.8M2.0%
Qatar ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ1.7M1.9%
Nigeria ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ1.6M1.8%
Algeria ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟ1.4M1.5%
Libya ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡พ1.3M1.4%
Angola ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ด1.2M1.3%
Oman ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ฒ0.97M1.1%
United Kingdom ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง0.87M1.0%
India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ0.75M0.8%
Colombia ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด0.74M0.8%
Azerbaijan ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ0.72M0.8%
Indonesia ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ0.69M0.8%
Venezuela ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ช0.65M0.7%
Argentina ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท0.63M0.7%
Egypt ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ0.60M0.7%
Malaysia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ0.57M0.6%
Ecuador ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ0.47M0.5%
Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ0.44M0.5%
Thailand ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ0.39M0.4%
Republic of Congo ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฌ0.27M0.3%
Turkmenistan ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒ0.25M0.3%
Vietnam ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ0.19M0.2%
Gabon ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆ0.18M0.2%
South Sudan ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฉ0.15M0.2%
Equatorial Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ณ0.14M0.2%
Peru ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช0.13M0.1%
Chad ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฉ0.12M0.1%
Brunei ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ณ0.10M0.1%
Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น0.10M0.1%
Syria ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ0.10M0.1%
Trinidad & Tobago ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡น0.08M0.1%
Romania ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด0.07M0.1%
Yemen ๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ช0.07M0.1%
Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ0.07M0.1%
Sudan ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฉ0.06M0.1%
Uzbekistan ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฟ0.06M0.1%
Tunisia ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ณ0.05M0.1%
Rest of the World ๐ŸŒ1.2M1.4%
Total89.9M100.0%

Over the last few decades, U.S. oil production has been on a rollercoaster of troughs and peaks. After falling from its 1970 peak of 11.3 million B/D, it reached a historic low of 6.8 million B/D in 2008. However, following a turnaround in the 2010s, the country has since surpassed Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer. As of 2021, though, the U.S. remained a net importer of crude oil while exporting refined petroleum products.

Saudi Arabia and Russia each produced roughly 11 million B/D in 2021 and were the two largest oil exporters globally. In both countries, state-owned oil firms (Saudi Aramco and Gazprom, respectively) were the most valuable oil and gas producing companies.

From Europe (excluding Russia), only Norway made the top 15 oil producers, accounting for 2.3% of global production. The lack of regional output partly explains the European Unionโ€™s dependence on Russian oil and gas, worsening the regionโ€™s energy crisis.

How the Energy Crisis is Affecting Oil Production

After a deep dive in 2020, oil demand is resurfacing and is now above pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, supply constraints due to sanctions on Russian oil and gas tighten the market and support high oil prices.

While the impact has been felt globally, European countries have been hit hard due to their reliance on Russiaโ€™s fossil fuel exports, with some getting almost all of their energy fuels from Russia.

To combat the oil crunch, the rest of the world is ramping up oil supply through increased production or releasing strategic petroleum reserves (SPRs). U.S. oil production is expected to rise by 1 million B/D in 2022 to a record-high. Simultaneously, Western nations are calling on OPEC members to increase their output to ease prices. However, OPEC nations are sticking to their planned production hikes, with output still below early 2020 levels.

“We had a good discussion on ensuring global energy security and adequate oil supplies to support global economic growth. And that will begin shortly.”– U.S. President Joe Biden on his recent visit to Saudi Arabia

The U.S. is releasing 180 million barrels of oil from its SPR, of which 60 million barrels will contribute to the IEAโ€™s collective release of 120 million barrels. But with oil demand expected to reach a new all-time high in 2023, it remains to be seen whether these efforts to increase supply will be enough to curb the crunch.

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