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Growing risks in the European energy market

Richard Power, head of energy disputes at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner looks at the key causes of disruption to the fast-changing European energy market, and the legal risks involved

Europe's energy market is today arguably in a more precarious state than the (literally) dark days of the mid-1970s. International conflict, carbon reduction targets, increased use of renewables and political upheaval all pose threats to the security of Europe’s energy supplies, particularly natural gas.  Europe is highly dependent on Russian energy supplies, importing about 30% of its gas and 35% of its crude oil needs from Russia. Western Europe is better insulated from supply shocks than many Eastern European states, which remain almost entirely dependent on Russian gas supplies. The civil war in Ukraine is a grave threat to continued gas and oil supplies from Russia. Most obviously, Ru

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