MOSCOW, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Natural gas production from members of the European Union is expected to decline by more than 40 percent in the coming years, Russian analysis Wednesday finds.
A report Wednesday from Russia's National Energy Security Fund finds gas production from EU member states declines 43 percent over the next 12 years when compared with 2013 levels.
The research note finds the reduction in gas production is equivalent to the total annual consumption rate of Italy. It says the EU currently is able to meet only 35 percent of its domestic demand for gas and has few export partners outside Russia.
A report from Eurostat, the EU statistics office, finds more than 40 percent of the region's production of energy came from the combined contribution from renewable energy resources and coal. The share of natural gas in the energy mix of the 28 member states was 16.8 percent, while crude oil accounted for the rest.
Eurostat said Russian exports of natural gas to EU members declined from 45.2 percent to 29.5 percent between 2002-10, but this trend started to reverse in 2011.
Russia sends the bulk of its natural gas to Europe through the Soviet-era gas transit system in Ukraine. Lingering geopolitical and economic crises in Ukraine puts European energy security at risk.