Image Source: New Europe
This winter, Russia gas supply to Europe may come to an end according to the chairman of the International Energy Agency.
Although a total shutdown is not the most likely scenario, according to Fatih Birol, Europe needs to develop backup plans in case it happens.
In recent weeks, a number of European nations claimed they received much less Russian gas than they anticipated. Russian officials cite technological difficulties and deny that it was done intentionally.
The percentage of natural gas that Europe imported from Russia before the invasion of Ukraine has decreased to around 20%.
Strategic Cuts in Russian Gas Supply
According to Mr. Birol, the recent Russian gas supply cuts are “strategic.” As a result of the falls, it is becoming more difficult for European nations to fill up their gas storage, giving Russia more clout this winter.
Only 40% of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline’s capacity was being used last week to transport natural gas from Russia to Europe. However, several analysts have met the Russian explanation that this was due to “technical problems” with skepticism.
Gas supply problems are still being reported all over Europe. The Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom told the Italian energy company Eni on Friday that it had only delivered half the amount of gas it had anticipated, and Slovakia and Austria have also reported declines.
France claims that Germany has not sent any Russian gas since June 15, while the supply of Russian gas to Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands has been halted because those countries refused to pay in Russian roubles.
European nations decided to fill their storage tanks last month to shield themselves from the erratic gas price. However, the most recent data indicates they are at roughly 55 percent capacity, much behind their agreed goal of at least 80 percent capacity by November.
Increasing the utilization of coal-fired power plants and, if at all possible, extending the lifespan of nuclear power plants are some of the urgent short-term demand-reduction steps that Mr. Birol claimed the continued gas problem currently justifies. Moreover, he claims that severe actions might be required in the event of a total cutoff of the Russian gas supply.