3

According to the BBC

France, like many other European countries, imports much of its natural gas through pipelines from Russia, using it for residential and commercial energy.

Of course, "much" is not exactly quantified, so how much is "much"?

3 Answers 3

8

France imports 16.8% of its natural gas from Russia (Source via @Fizz which in turn relies upon Eurostat).

These imports account for about 3.7% of Russia's natural gas exports, which can be compared to the roughly 74% of all Russian natural gas exports that are imported by OECD European nations.

France also uses significantly less natural gas per capita than many other European nations because it does not rely upon natural gas to generate electricity to a meaningful extent, while many European countries are heavily dependent upon natural gas fueled electricity generation. But, because France is a fairly high population industrialized country, its natural gas demand is still not insignificant.

7
  • So it's not very important for France and France could probably do without Russian gas quite easily if it wanted to? Just save a bit and order a few million million cubic meters more from somewhere else. Apr 12, 2022 at 21:04
  • 3
    @Trilarion Those questions are much harder to answer and I don't know the answer to them. There are few good substitute fuels for dedicated natural gas equipment and obtaining supplies from elsewhere is non-trivial. A Jimmy Carter style "sweater" campaign this winter might be in order in France, however.
    – ohwilleke
    Apr 12, 2022 at 21:24
  • Also, many buildings in France use electricity for heating (e.g. heat pump) instead of gas. Apr 13, 2022 at 5:44
  • @Trilarion: 1) Nearly 1/5th of supply is not "save a bit". The US uses 15% of its natural gas in "residential uses" (like heating homes and cooking, and since the US uses 38% of Natural Gas for electricity generation, France's residential usage is likely higher). Asking people to cook 1/5th less and heat their houses 1/5th less is a hard sell (especially if Omicron forces another lockdown) 2) If everyone/many people avoid Russian natural gas, the price for non-Russian natural gas will go up immensely.
    – sharur
    Apr 13, 2022 at 5:55
  • 1
    @sharur A combination of using less, using substitutes and buying somewhere else to save 20% should at the very least be possible for a rich country like France. On the other hand it would be more expensive. Price is also a good driver to lower consumption. As long as politicians can lower the impact on lower incomes. Apr 13, 2022 at 6:37
5

You can play around Eurostat's 'Imports of natural gas by partner country' dataset for this info - the latest figures for French imports are from 2020, although there's a rather large amount for which the source isn't specified:

Source Natural Gas Imports (in millions of cubic metres)
Norway 16,652.066
Not specified 7,935.255
Russia 7,780.367
Netherlands 3,861.433
Algeria 3,623.014
Nigeria 3,421.473
United States 1,123.814
Qatar 694.215
Belgium 637.192
Spain 383.117
Germany 209.183

Or, in graphical form (click to enlarge):

enter image description here

6
  • 2
    Also somewhat useful from that dataset: imports from Russia vs total imports by country imgur.com/a/dQMpFHa Apr 12, 2022 at 12:31
  • Does the dataset also specify a total? Apr 12, 2022 at 20:54
  • The only issue I have with this answer is that it doesn't answer the question directly (as it exists now). The OP specifically asks about France and maybe the links specify that, but none of the current graphs or tables mention France specifically. Not worth a downvote from me tho, btw.
    – coblr
    Apr 12, 2022 at 23:03
  • @coblr the graph and table both refer to French imports.
    – CDJB
    Apr 13, 2022 at 5:58
  • the not specified and the non gas producing countries (like Belgium) might make the amount of gas that has a Russian origin bigger.
    – J_rite
    Apr 13, 2022 at 8:12
-1
  • On the one hand, natural gas plays a relatively minor role in the French energy mix, since France heavily relies on nuclear energy, which furnishes most of its needs in electricity and to significant extent in heating.
  • On the other hand, France is a heavily industrialized country, which needs natural gas for its industry (metallurgy, ceramic production, etc.) In addition, some public facilities traditionally rely on natural gas (and other hydrocarbons) for heating and cooking, although these are also being largely replaced by electricity-based devices.

An approximate breakdown of the electricity production by EDF, the principal electric company in France is:

  • nuclear: 74.5%
  • hydro-electric: 16.3%
  • thermal: 9.1%
  • wind power and other renewable sources: 0.1%

For overall energy consumption see Energy in France enter image description here

For French energy consumption in comparison to other countries see the List of countries by natural gas consumption (France is #20)

See also the List of countries by natural gas production, where France is 89th.

14
  • 6
    Ok, so how much they import form Russia? Apr 12, 2022 at 12:00
  • 2
    @Fizz You mean the fraction of what they consume? By fraction of their total energy consumption? The fraction of the total Russian exports to Europe? The fraction of total Russian exports? There is plenty of material to be found by googling - take no offense, but this question is poorly researched.
    – Roger V.
    Apr 12, 2022 at 12:04
  • 13
    Informative but it doesn't really answer the question.
    – ohwilleke
    Apr 12, 2022 at 20:27
  • 1
    @ohwilleke see my comment above. If one wants to apply rigorously the forum rules, one has to do it consistently: poorly researched question is -1; unclear question is a reason for closure.
    – Roger V.
    Apr 13, 2022 at 5:40
  • 2
    @RogerVadim When you consider a question unclear, then you should vote to close and request clarification before you attempt to answer it. But I don't really see what's unclear about this question.
    – Philipp
    Apr 13, 2022 at 10:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .