Ukraine Conflict Breeds Widespread Shortages

Many miles of print and hours of media coverage have given the world everything it needs and wants to know about the politics surrounding this bloody conflict. Further personal views would therefore be de trop on this forum.

However, even while this conflict continues, we must all look to the future and work out our own various but different courses of action.

One of the obvious consequences of this conflict, is to highlight the incomprehensible decision of the EU countries to place such frightening reliance on LNG supplies from Russia. Information from the media is that this ranges between 40% and 80%+. For once, UK acted much more prudently with just 3-5% coming from that region.

On the positive side, this severe jolt of reality will hugely accelerate R&D of alternative energy, ranging from electric and hydrogen-fuelled transport to the generation of commercial and domestic heating from other sources such as wind, sun and even sea power and of course more cost-effective heat exchangers of one kind or another.

Another important aspect is the production of helium where Russia is already producing about 30% of the world’s supply and which will increase as the USA reserve diminishes. Certainly Qatar and Algeria and a few developing fields will take up some of the slack, but already there is a shortage of this most important gas – as well as of equipment in which to transport it.

The above are just a couple of examples of problems and potential opportunities that the current conflict will bring about. There are a great many more ranging from the production of sunflower oil in Ukraine through to base metal mining and of course the knock-on effects to world economic wellbeing.








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