Energy Institute


Where does our gas supply come from?

Until 2016 we imported around 96% of our gas needs from the UK via a system of two sub-sea pipelines to the Republic and one to Northern Ireland.

All three pipelines connect to a single pipeline at Moffat in Scotland 1. That makes us part of an extensive European gas network (Figure 4); so while the bulk of our imported gas comes from the North Sea and Norway via Great Britain, the price at which we buy it can be affected by events far away.


Figure 4. Physical gas flow across the EU-28 and diversity of gas supply in 2013

UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (2014) Physical Gas Flows Across the EU-28 and Diversity of Gas Supply in 2013. Available Online



More than half (53%) of the European Union’s energy consumption was imported in 2013. Almost 66% of the EU’s natural gas is imported 2. Norway and Russia together accounted for about 63% of these gas imports. Algeria and Quatar supplied about 22% and the balance of 15% came from Libya, Nigeria and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sources 3.

The actual gas flows in the European gas network during 2015 are available in the EU Energy Markets Report and at Gas Trade Flows in Europe.

The Corrib gas field will supply up to 56% 4 of our gas at peak demand in the first few years, meeting on average 42% of the All-Island gas demand over its first two years of operation 5. We still have some gas coming from the Kinsale gas field off Cork. You can see from the network representation below how the gas arrives in Ireland and and how it is distributed around the country (Figure 5).


Figure 5. Gas flow and distribution in Ireland

SEAI (2016) Energy Security in Ireland: A Statistical Overview. Available Online



Ireland is strongly connected to the UK gas system. With this integration our price and security of supply risks are mitigated by actions addressing the UK’s needs.

The UK has multiple pipelines coming from two North Sea sectors, from Continental Europe and it imports LNG via three terminals from different parts of the world (Figure 6). This partially explains why proposals were put forward to build a LNG importation facility in Shannon - to allow us to import gas directly from Africa, Australia, the Middle East and potentially the United States 6.


Figure 6. LNG Connections in Europe

UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (2014) Physical Gas Flows Across the EU-28 and Diversity of Gas Supply in 2013. Available Online