Clearly a forecast is just that—an educated guess at market trends.
After the recent 10th package of sanctions on Russia, the EU has banned all imports of synthetic rubbers and carbon blacks, which will create a supply imbalance across the European market. The ban, however, doesn't take effect on those materials until July 2, 2024.
"Russia was one of the major suppliers of butadiene rubbers and carbon black, and this recent ban will induce a market shift from Russia to Asia," Chechi said.
Meanwhile, Russia is shifting its exports to major Asian economies like India and China.
"After supplies to the EU plummeted, China has become a new favorite destination for Russian natural gas supplies," Chechi said.
Russian natural gas major Gazprom aims to invest in delivery capacity to China and add 100 billion cubic meters to the country by 2030.
Power of Siberia 1 also will look to arrive at full capacity of 38 billion cubic meters to China by 2025, which currently is working at 10 billion cubic meters, Chechi said.
On the other side, India has become a key destination for Russian crude oil. India imported around 27 percent of its total January 2023 imports, due to its cheaper value and strong diplomatic ties with Russia.
However, Russian material always had the advantage of cost efficiency, which, for a very long time, was of great benefit to Europe's automotive industry.
And now, as Freedman said, there is a true finality to Russia's imported products.
"Something to think about are the risks to forecast," he said. "Clearly there are other things that could happen in the meantime that could get forecasts wrong.
"The war could escalate—there is gas transit still going on through Ukraine, which I find completely strange, but it is still happening—and this (pipeline) could stop and stop quite quickly."
Sabotage remains a possibility, something that experts already believe occurred at Nord Stream 1, the major pipeline connecting Russia and Germany for natural gas supply.
"Since August 2022, Nord Stream 1 has been under sabotage," Chechi said. "Further, Nord Stream currently has two pipelines (NS1 and NS2) ... and Nord Stream 2 has not come into service despite being completed in September 2021."
Freedman noted that most NG supply enters the EU via southern routes.
"Most of the supply into the EU is coming in via Turkey, which is taking Russian gas per its contracts," Freedman said.
Turkey continues to have its Russian gas delivered almost unaltered, though the price has been high.
As the EU is on the road to clean energy, it will look to phase out coal by 2030 and gas by 2035, shifting to cleaner and cheaper alternatives like solar and wind power—and away from Russian energy supplies.
In addition, green hydrogen is expected to be a viable energy source in the coming years in the EU, and is expected to result in the further decline of fossil fuels in the region.
"We believe that shifting from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives like solar and wind is the most feasible decision for the region," Chechi said. "However, the region must bear the burden of high capital investments in this case."
With "more potential risks in forecasting the global energy market than at any time in recent history," Freedman said, any suggested outlook should be taken with a grain of salt.
"Expect the unexpected," he said.