March 23 (Reuters) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday that world energy markets will collapse if sanctions are imposed on oil and gas from Russia, a major hydrocarbon exporter.
The European Union, which depends on the great medium of Russian energy, is evaluating the possibility of expanding the sanctions imposed on Moscow for the Ukraine crisis to include hydrocarbons. The bloc’s foreign ministers disagreed on Monday about the desirability of the move.
The United States and the United Kingdom, much less dependent on Russian fuel, have taken steps to ban imports of Russian oil.
“Russia is the largest supplier, the share of Russian energy resources in world markets is around 40%. Obviously, the oil and gas markets would collapse without Russian hydrocarbons if sanctions were imposed,” Novak said.
Speaking to the Russian lower house, he said there was a crude oil shortage on world markets of around one million barrels per day (bpd).
The EU, which launched a new wave of sanctions last week, has prevented investments in the Russian energy sector.
Novak said Europe could face a shortage of diesel, with inventories now at the lowest level since 2008. They also said the ban on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany shows a lack of understanding of energy market balance and will fuel inflation. .
The benchmark Dutch gas contract for the first month reached an all-time high of 335 euros ($368) per megawatt hour this month, amid conflict in Ukraine, which is also a transit point for gas to Europe. Now it trades at 103 euros.
(1 dollar = 0.9093 euros)
(Reuters report; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)