Gas industry sneaks in US fossil gas ignoring Dubai climate talks

Amsterdam / Gijon, SpainWith the climate talks in Dubai in the last stages of trying to agree a phase out fossil fuels, a shipment of US fossil gas onboard the tanker Gaslog Warsaw has just arrived in Spain, at the recently opened El Musel regasification plant, contradicting international efforts and commitments to address the reality of climate destruction. The imported gas comes from fracking – a process banned in Spain and other European countries because of its impacts on nature and communities who live and work among the fracking fields.

A Greenpeace Spain investigation on the El Musel facility exposes how gas operators have hood-winked the Spanish administration, and many others across Europe (France and Belgium), into allowing a massive hike in building and re-opening fossil gas infrastructure, on the basis of unsubstantiated claims that additional gas supplies are needed. 

Maria Botella, Fossil Power campaigner at Greenpeace Spain, said: “While climate talks aim at phasing out fossil fuels, it’s business as usual for the gas industry. Ignoring the urgency of the climate emergency, gas operators are using Europe’s political fear of a threat to gas supplies caused by war in Ukraine to add infrastructure to their own portfolio, and shore up profits and shareholder payouts, whilst locking Europe into decades of gas dependency.”

The investigation “Truth and Lies at El Musel; a story of hypocrisy and Spain’s addiction to US liquified gas” shows that:

  • Europe has no need for more gas as there is an is an over-capacity and demand is falling;
  • Spain has more gas than it needs and cannot satisfy “Europe’s future gas demand”, as the country only has two low volume pipelines connecting to France (two others go to Portugal);
  • Many EU countries are building their own regasification facilities and don’t need Spain’s supply of liquified gas from the US;
  • The new contracts lock Spanish tax-payers into fossil gas until 2042 and the investments are paid for by the State, not the companies, that is by Spanish tax-payers;
  • “Helping to phase out Russian gas imports” is a false claim: Spain is currently the largest EU importer of Russian liquified gas, thus keeping the Russian war coffers filled with fossil fuel profits.

Spanish energy companies Enagás (developer) and Endesa (operator) are trying to justify huge state investments to expand liquified gas infrastructure, including the opening of the El Musel regasification plant that has never been used.[1]

Enagás, and many other oil and gas companies, continue to try the impossible – expanding fossil fuel infrastructure at the same time as “decarbonising” the energy system. They propose a vague future where gas infrastructure could transport hydrogen, but the technical and economic viability is questionable and there are no concrete plans to generate the requisite quantities of “green” hydrogen from renewable sources.[2]

Specific Greenpeace demands on energy policies and LNG in Spain, Europe and the US are detailed in the report



[1] Enagás S.A. is a gas company that owns and operates the Spanish national gas grid, and Endesa S.A. the multinational electric and gas utility company which is a majority-owned subsidiary of the Italian company, Enel.

[p11 of the Greenpeace Spain’s report] The contract for unused capacity at El Musel went to Endesa, who can use this terminal to bring US liquified gas into Europe. In 2014 Endesa signed two contracts with US company, Cheniere Energy Inc, for a total of 2.25 million tonnes (3.06 bcm) of liquified gas. The contracts last until 2039 and started delivering in 2019. This forms the backbone of Endesa’s gas portfolio, with their tankers being used for their cross-Atlantic trade. These add to the existing boom of US liquified gas trade to Spain. 

[2] Ana Maria Jaller-Makarewicz, A gas pipeline in disguise? Known unknowns about H2Med (2022) 


Greenpeace International Press Desk: +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours), [email protected]

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