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EU Assesses No-Russian-Gas Scenario For Next Winter

As part of drafting contingency plans to meet natural gas demand, the European Union is currently assessing all scenarios, including the possibility of a halt in Russian gas supply to the EU next winter, Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, said on Thursday.

The EU is reassessing scenarios for partial and full disruption of gas deliveries from Russia next winter in order to “help member states revise their gas supply contingency plans,” Dombrovskis said at the European Parliament today, as carried by Reuters.

During the Parliament session, Dombrovskis outlined the European Commission’s plan to cut EU demand for Russian gas by two-thirds before the end of 2022 and completely by 2030 to replenish gas stocks for winter and ensure the provision of affordable, secure, and sustainable energy.

“We must be in charge of our own energy future and that means we cannot let any third country destabilise our markets nor influence our energy choices,” Dombrovskis said.

The Commission “is working at full speed to phase out Russian fossil fuels,” under the plan unveiled early this month following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EC official said.

Europe—unlike the United States—cannot afford to go without Russian gas currently, so the European partners have been reluctant to slap sanctions or impose an embargo of imports of oil and gas from Russia.

If Russian gas flows to Europe were interrupted now, Europe would have enough gas to last it through the end of this winter and the following summer without curtailing demand, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said last week. European gas storage levels will likely be within the five-year range by the end of this winter, thanks to mild weather, more arrivals of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and sustained imports from Norway, according to WoodMac. While this winter and the summer could be easier for Europe without Russian gas, some demand curtailments in the 2022-2023 winter will be inevitable, according to Kateryna Filippenko, principal analyst on Wood Mackenzie’s Europe gas and LNG team.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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