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Natural Gas Is a Hard Habit to Quit

Consumption is growing at a faster rate than oil

Pipework at the construction site of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) natural gas pipeline in Komotini, Greece.

Pipework at the construction site of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) natural gas pipeline in Komotini, Greece.

Photographer: Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg
From

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Europe’s natural gas benchmark has been on a wild ride since the fall of 2021, with prices twice spiking more than ten times above last year’s spring levels. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has underlined the continent’s dependence on imported gas, and challenged its planners and politicians to consider where, how, and how quickly they might limit that dependence. Comparisons to 1970s oil-driven energy crises abound. Demand for oil and natural gas is integral to contemporary society, but that does not mean that both present the same challenges.