China could emerge as a swing buyer of surplus Russian gas should the West impose additional sanctions targeting the country's energy exports following its invasion of Ukraine, but a number of factors could prevent it from immediately taking up additional Russian gas.

The conflict in Ukraine is rocking global energy markets, sending oil prices to a seven-year high, with both Brent and US oil benchmarks surging past $100 per barrel following the initial invasion and causing fears about the ramifications for gas supplies around the world.