As the crisis between Russia and the West deepened on the borders of Ukraine, Europe and Russia’s long interdependence on one another for energy had become a critical bargaining piece on both sides. This project clearly quantified Europe’s reliance on Russian gas and oil, the pipeline infrastructure that underpinned the alternatives available to Europe and where else Moscow might find new energy customers should Europe decide to boycott Russian energy.
The project was one of the most in-depth explorations of the oil and gas infrastructure binding Europe and Russia. The piece was widely shared by energy experts and political commentators and proved to be very popular on both social media and Reuters’ platforms.
Mapping and analysis were produced in QGIS. Raw pipeline data was processed and major routes for alternative energy sources identified. Adobe’s creative suite was used for much of the final styling of graphics before being placed as components in the web page.
Context about the project:
Energy reliance was a hotly contested subject on the continent at the time and our piece was both lauded and criticised by various representatives of specific national interests in the network of European energy suppliers and dependents. In the end, we felt our reporting took a level look at an innately political topic and offered our readers a clear analysis without favour.
What can other journalists learn from this project?
The geographic reporting in this piece required careful decisions around what to include and what to exclude from European and Asian pipeline infrastructure. Focusing readers’ attention on complex networks takes deep reporting and editorial balance, which we think we achieved in this piece.