The EU imports 53% of all the energy it consumes, at a cost of more than €1 billion per day. Energy also makes up more than 20% of total EU imports. Specifically, the EU imports:
- 90% of its crude oil
- 66% of its natural gas
- 42% of its coal and other solid fuels
- 40% of its uranium and other nuclear fuels.
As its prosperity is dependent on a stable and abundant supply of energy, the EU works to secure supplies from sustainable and reliable sources at competitive prices. It also aims to speak with a single voice abroad when dealing with external energy suppliers.
Energy Security Strategy
In response to concerns surrounding the delivery of Russian gas via Ukraine, the EU launched its EU energy security strategy in 2014. It lays out measures such as increasing energy efficiency, as well as energy production within the EU and the completion of missing infrastructure links to redirect energy to where it is needed during a crisis.
As part of the Strategy, the EU conducted so-called stress tests to analyse the ability of Europe's energy system to cope with a severe gas disruption during the winter of 2014-2015.
Secure supplies of gas and oil
To help protect against gas disruptions, the EU substantially reinforced its security of supply laws with the adoption of the Security of Gas supply and regulation in 2010. EU countries must ensure that gas is supplied to households and other vulnerable customers such as hospitals, even under demanding conditions such as a disruption of main gas infrastructure lasting 30 days. They must also prepare Preventive Action Plans and Emergency Plans to prevent and deal with crises.
EU countries are further required to maintain oil stocks equal to at least 90 days of their average daily consumption under the Minimum Stocks of Crude Oil and/or Petroleum Products Directive.
In February 2016, the Commission proposed an update to these rules.
Supplier countries and routes
The EU works closely with its supplier countries. This includes collaboration with Russia and Norway who together supply over half of the EU's gas and over 40% of its oil.
At the same time, the EU works with countries along supply routes to prevent supply disruptions. It is also aiming to build new transit routes such as the Southern Gas Corridor to diversify its supplies by bringing in gas from the Caspian countries.