“Portugal does not depend at all on the gas pipeline that comes from Russia, all that uses gas is LNG, which arrives in Sines and is re-gasified and used in our country. Three days ago, we had 80% gas reserves and now the number is certainly higher”, so “we have very comfortable reserves”, declared João Pedro Matos Fernandes.

Speaking to Portuguese journalists in Brussels after an extraordinary meeting of the Council on the energy situation in Europe following the crisis in Ukraine, the official pointed out that Portugal receives, on average, six ships a month with LNG and by the end of March eight will arrive.

No concern

Already questioned about possible constraints in the supply of gas and fuels to Portugal, due to geopolitical tensions, João Pedro Matos Fernandes pointed out that “the quantity and availability […] are not a concern today” for the Government.

“If we move towards diesel, gasoline and crude oil, there are public reserves of 90 days of supply, to which companies are added”, he said.

The Portuguese Government is considering support, such as access to credit, for the sectors most dependent on gas, such as textiles, ceramics and glass, as well as relief for electricity consumers, the latter through the additional funds obtained with the carbon tax in the Environmental Fund, worth €150 million, added João Pedro Matos Fernandes.

Russia accounts for more than 40% of the EU's annual natural gas imports.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been causing a sharp increase in the price of gas in the EU and in global oil prices, a rise that comes in the context of an already existing spike in energy prices, given the crisis in the sector.