“A Hub for Europe”: The Iberian promise?
In these times of heightening geopolitical tensions, can Iberia be part of the solution to diversify the Security of Supply of natural gas to Europe? For a number of years now, there has been growing concern amongst politicians of the dependence of Europe on Russian gas and there is growing pressure to find alternative supplies, both pipeline and LNG.
Iberia has historically been seen as a ‘separate’ gas market but does have an extensive existing gas infrastructure, from LNG import terminals with overcapacity, to gas ample storage facilities, as well as having bi-directional pipelines to France. There are also a number of infrastructure projects that could, on paper, improve further the ability to provide extra wholesale quantities of gas into Europe.
There is a political momentum from the European Commission and the Spanish government towards integrating the Iberian gas market to that of Western Europe; however, do they understand what it would take to become a “Hub for Europe”? The reality is that any such ambition must fulfil a need and provide the right results.
The traded gas market has started to develop but will these developments towards a fully liberalised and commercial traded gas market lead to a joint Iberian gas hub that can price additional supplies of physical gas to Western Europe?