Russia gas supply may cease in Europe this winter, according to the chairman of the International Energy Agency. According to Fatih Birol, a total shutdown is not the most likely scenario, but Europe needs to develop backup measures just in case.
Several European nations recently reported receiving much less Russian gas supply than anticipated. Officials from Russia claim technological difficulties and deny that it was done on purpose.
Before the invasion of Ukraine, Europe imported roughly 40% of its natural gas from Russia; this percentage is now closer to 20%.
Strategic cuts in Russian gas supply
According to Mr. Birol, the current cuts in Russian gas supply are “strategic.” The falls are making it more difficult for European nations to fill up their gas stockpile this winter and giving Russia more clout.
Only 40% of Nord Stream 1, one of the main pipelines carrying natural gas from Russia to Europe, was being used last week. However, the Russian argument that this was brought on by “technical difficulties” is disputed by many specialists.
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Gas supply shortages are still being reported around Europe. The Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom told the Italian energy company Eni on Friday that it had only delivered half the gas it had ordered. At the same time, Slovakia and Austria have also reported declines.
Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands have delayed the Russian gas supply after they rebuffed a demand to pay in Russian roubles. France claims it has not received any Russian gas through Germany since June 15th.
European nations decided last month to try to fortify their storage facilities in an effort to fend off the erratic gas prices. With the most recent statistics indicating they are at roughly 55 percent, they collectively agreed to reach at least 80 percent capacity by November.
By using more coal-fired power plants and, if possible, extending the lifespan of nuclear power plants, Mr. Birol claimed that the ongoing gas issue now justifies taking immediate, emergency measures to cut demand. Furthermore, he claims that severe measures might be required if the Russian gas supply is completely cut off.
Opinions expressed by California Gazette contributors are their own.