After our customary lunch, we had an excellent talk for our first meeting of the New Year by Dr James Henderson from The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies entitled “Russia, Europe, and the Global Energy Crisis.” Russia, produces 7% of global energy demand, exporting gas and crude oil and their by-products, principally to Europe. It is also, has one of the largest supplies of coal as well as large stocks of valuable minerals used in modern technology. It uses energy as diplomatic influence in the world but is, itself, riddled with corruption. It has been exporting gas to Europe since 1968 and has developed, since then, a vast network of pipelines to aid its distribution, many of these through Ukraine. Due to the current crisis caused by Putin’s war, Europe’s reliance on Russian gas has diminished from 45% in 2019 to less than 20% now, and is likely to reduce further. This is due to the USA providing Europe with frozen liquid gas (LNG), and without this, the lights would have gone out in Europe long ago. The second largest supplier to Europe of LNG is Qatar. Many of the ships currently on the oceans are LNG carriers with Russia still exporting from its enormous gas fields in the Artic and, where in recent times, it has expanded its development and military installations giving concern to NATO and western allies.

Our next lunch meeting at the Ufford Park Hotel will be at 12.30pm on 13 February, for our AGM when our current Chairman, Bob Tate, will hand over to our new Chairman, Adrian Revill for a programme of more interesting talks in 2023. If you are retired and enjoy a very convivial atmosphere, you will be very welcome to join us, because we are not a large group so there is little chance of being overwhelmed. If you have been a Probus member from another part of the world or are just new to the area or think we sound interesting, simply email:, or visit our website. We look forward to meeting you.