Europe in the Gas Trap

Alexia Barakou

“Natural” might trick you into thinking that it’s not harmful. The oil and gas industry would surely want you to see it that way. But it is still a fossil fuel, and it produces “alarming methane emissions”, say experts. Investigate Europe dug into gas investments to understand why Europe is once again acting against its own climate goals. What we found:

  • New gas projects worth 104 billion Euros are underway; capacity for LNG terminals is to be increased by 54%; An extra 12,842 km of pipelines are anticipated down the line
  • In the European Commission’s list of the so-called “Projects of Common Interest”, there are 32 gas projects that have been deemed eligible for funding by the EU. 
  • The Commission repeatedly overestimated the gas demands in the past ten years, according to the European court of Auditors.

But why?

The answers we found are a mix of massive lobby influence, geopolitical competition and economical dependencies throughout Europe. Learn more about our investigation by accessing our original content, including articles and interviews. Scroll to the bottom of the page to read articles published with media partners across Europe in a number of languages.

What is the gas trap? A video explainer

Art Direction & Motion Graphics Design: Alexia Barakou | Sound design: Aris Athanasopoulos | Narration: Pavlos Zafiropoulos | Produced by Reporters United (Athens, Greece)

Learn more about gas traps, powerful lobbies and “greenwashing in Hydrogen” by reading the original articles and interviews published on our website:


Click on the interactive map below to explore the gas investments per capita:

Source: Own calculations by Investigate Europe, based on data provided by the NGO Global Energy Monitor for pipeline and power plant data and industry group Gas Infrastructure Europe for data on LNG terminals. This map covers gas power plants, pipelines and LNG terminals. Gas exploration and extraction are not covered.

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The production of this investigation was supported by a grant from the Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) fund.