Gas at a Crossroads methodology
Data sources for figures
Summaries of results from GEM's EU gas survey are shown in Figure 1 (Cost of future EU gas infrastructure by country), Table 1 (Future gas infrastructure proposed or under construction in EU countries), and Table 2 (Future gas infrastructure on the 4th List of Projects of Common Interest). See below for details on data sources for particular subsets of the data (pipelines, LNG terminals, and power plants).
Figure 2: Fossil gas consumption
- Historical: Eurostat energy database. Annual fossil gas consumption for 1990-2017 from the series "Supply, transformation and consumption of gas (nrg_cb_gas)." Annual fossil gas consumption for 2018 estimated based on Eurostat's statement that monthly data shows fossil gas consumption decreased 2.4% from 2017 to 2018.
- European Commission: From "A Clean Planet for All". Consumption of natural gas from Figure 18. Data extracted using WebPlotDigitizer, and average of 1.5TECH and 1.5LIFE scenarios calculated.
- IEA: World Energy Outlook 2019,, Sustainable Development scenario, Annex A, Table A.1, Fossil Fuel Demand, line for "natural gas."
- ENTSOG: Ten Year Network Development Plan 2020, average of two low-emissions scenarios, "Distributed Energy" and "Global Ambition", as shown in Figures 24 and 25. Data extracted from the graphs using WebPlotDigitizer.
Figure 3: Fossil gas imports
- Historical imports (net): Eurostat energy database, gross gas imports from series Imports of natural gas by partner country (nrg_ti_gas); gross gas exports from series Exports of natural gas by partner country (nrg_te_gas). Net imports calculated by GEM as gross imports minus gross exports.
- European Commission: From "A Clean Planet for All" Natural gas imports shown in Figure 35. Data extracted using WebPlotDigitizer, and average of 1.5TECH and 1.5LIFE scenarios calculated.
- IEA: From World Energy Outlook 2019, imports inferred from EU gas consumption (Annex A, Table A.1) minus EU gas production (Annex A, Table A.3: Energy demand – European Union).
- ENTSOG: Ten Year Network Development Plan 2020,, Figures 24 and 25; calculated average of Distributed Energy and Global Ambition scenarios. Data extracted from the graphs using WebPlotDigitizer. For fossil gas imports, counted the categories "imported unabated," "imports for methane demand," "imported unabated," and "imports for hydrogen demand" (the latter defined as "natural gas converted to hydrogen at import point/city gas or direct hydrogen imports." Other data in the report was consistent with "imports for hydrogen demand" being entirely or nearly entirely composed of fossil gas.
Figure 3 (continued): Gas import capacity
- Historical import capacity: The capacity to import gas into the EU, by either pipeline or through LNG terminals, based on historical data.
- For pipelines: ENTSOG data on capacity for imports into the EU at cross-border interconnection points.
- For LNG terminals: GEM's EU gas infrastructure survey, drawing from GEM's Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker; capacities for 2010 and 2019 based on all terminals that were built up to the specified year. Wiki pages for each terminal contain references for their data.
- Projection of EU gas import capacity based historical capacity above and GEM's EU gas infrastructure survey of gas pipelines crossing EU borders and LNG terminals, either under construction or proposed. The projection used the following assumptions:
- Assumes linear implementation of projects currently under construction between 2020 and 2025. For pipelines, those entering EU are: Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline, Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline, and Poland Ukraine Interconnector Pipeline. For LNG terminals, all within EU are assumed to supply the EU.
- Assumes linear implementation of projects currently in pre-construction development between 2023 and 2030. For pipelines, those entering EU are: East Med Gas Pipeline, Baltic Pipe Project, Israel Cyprus Gas Pipeline, and White Stream Gas Pipeline. For LNG terminals, all within EU are assumed to supply the EU.
- Assumes no further projects entering development.
- Assumes no retirement of gas pipelines for import into the EU that were in operation in 2019. Data from GEM's Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker shows that nearly all major gas transmission pipelines that supply the EU were built in the 1970s or later. Data from the European Gas Pipeline Incident Data Group (EGIG) also shows that nearly all of Europe's gas transmission pipelines were built since 1970, and by 2016 the average age was 32 years. By 2050, the average age of the gas transmission pipelines existing in 2019 would be about 65 years, with nearly all under 80 years old. A major gas pipeline completed in 1967, the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod pipeline (also known as the Brotherhood Pipeline), is still operating in 2020, indicating a lifetime of at least 50 years. For more recently built gas pipelines, it is reasonable to assume 80-year lifetimes. Gas pipeline failures of all types have been reduced about 80% since the 1970s. EGIG argues: "The decrease may be explained by technological developments, such as: welding, inspection, condition monitoring using in-line inspection and improved procedures for damage prevention and detection. Improvements in the prevention of external interference incidents may be explained by a more stringent enforcement of land use planning and the application of one-call systems for the digging activities of external parties." Therefore, we assumed that all gas pipelines in operation in 2019 can be maintained and repaired as needed to continue operating through 2050.
- Assumes no retirement of EU LNG import terminals that were in operation in 2019. GEM's GFIT shows LNG terminals that are still operating in 2020 that were built around 50 years earlier, such as Barcelona LNG Terminal (Spain, 1969), Negishi LNG Terminal (Japan, 1969), Everett Marine Terminal (United States, 1971), Panigaglia LNG Terminal (Italy, 1971), Fos Tonkin LNG Terminal (France, 1972), Senboku 1 LNG Terminal (Japan, 1972), and Sodegaura LNG Terminal (Japan 1973). GEM's GFIT indicates only one LNG import terminal in Europe has been retired, Teesside GasPort LNG Terminal (United Kingdom, 2007), which retired in 2015 after only 8 years in operation, but there are plans to bring it back into operation. One other, El Musel LNG Terminal (Spain, 2012), has been mothballed since its completion due to a legal decision revoking its permits. Older LNG import terminals, such as Fos Tonkin LNG Terminal, have been refurbished to extend their lifetimes, at a fraction of the cost of building a new LNG terminal. Thus, we assume that LNG terminals existing in 2019 would still be operating in 2050, either within their normal lifetime or that they could be refurbished and continue operating.
- If we had instead used a very conservative assumption that gas pipelines have a lifetime of 60 years, then by 2050, any pipelines built before 1990 would be retired. Data from GEM's Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker indicates this would remove about 250 bcm/year of import capacity into the EU, from the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod pipeline (1967), Norpipe Gas Pipeline (1977), Vesterled Gas Pipeline (1978), Soyuz Gas Pipeline (1978), Trans-Mediterranean Gas Pipeline (1983), Northern Lights Gas Pipeline (1985), and Minsk-Kaliningrad Interconnection (1985). This capacity of 250 bcm/year retired is comparable to the 234 bcm/year of pipeline and LNG terminal capacity that is under construction and proposed as of January 2020. In this case, total EU import capacity after the retirement of these pipelines would be 691 bcm/year, only slightly lower than the 2019 capacity of 707 bcm/year.
Figure 4: "Green gases" etc.
- Historical biogas: Eurostat, Complete energy balances [nrg_bal_c], SIEC: Biogases, NRG_BAL: Gross available energy
- European Commission: Projected biogas & e-gas: PRIMES results in "EC Long-Term 2050 PRIMES gas by type graph 1.xlsx"
- ENTSOG: average of scenarios named Distributed Energy and Global Ambition, Figure ___ and Figure ___.
- Pipeline import capacity from ENTSOG map and spreadsheet; see file "ENTSOG interconnection points EU to non-EU.xlsx" for GEM categorization of capacities as import or export; used to calculate sum of import capacities as 15,316 GWh/d; converted to bcm/year.
- LNG import capacity from GEM survey (mtpa), converted to bcm/year.
For all figures: used conversion from energy units to volume units of 38.54 TJ / million cubic meters. Based on Eurostat, average over fossil gas imports over the period Jan 2016-Sep 2019 (data series: _____).
- bcm = billion cubic meters (of fossil gas)
- GFIT = Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker (GEM project)
- Eurostat database, Energy accessed January 2020
- Natural Gas Supply Statistics Eurostat, accessed January 26, 2020.
- In-depth analysis in support of the Commission Communication COM(2018) 773: A Clean Planet for all. A European long-term strategic vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy European Commission, December 2018
- World Energy Outlook 2019 International Energy Agency, November 2019
- TYNDP 2020 Scenario Report (draft) ENTSOG and ENTSO-E, November 2019
- The European Natural Gas Network European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), 2010
- The European Natural Gas Network 2019 European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), 2019
- Gas Pipeline Incidents: 10th Report of the European Gas Pipeline Incident Data Group March 2018
- The Future of the UK gas network Paul E. Dodds and Will, Energy Policy, Volume 60, September 2013, Pages 305-316.