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The gas supply crunch that Europe has been struggling with for months now seems to be abating, and the continent might emerge from this winter relatively unscathed—but only if the Russian gas pipeline through Ukraine remains open.
This is according to the chief executive of Trafigura, Jeremy Weir, as quoted by the Financial Times today.
Speaking at a commodities conference organized by the FT, Weir said that Europe appears to have enough gas for the winter thanks to a strong storage refill season and a mild autumn.
Weir also sounded a rare optimistic note for next winter, saying that according to Trafigura predictions, Europe will emerge from winter with 30 billion cubic meters still in storage, which will make the subsequent refill for winter 2023/24 an easier task than previously expected.
“Should that be the case, we may not have so much of a problem the following winter, which was actually the real concern,” Trafigura’s chief executive said.
Yesterday, however, Russia threatened it might reduce gas volumes shipped via Ukraine after it noticed that some of the gas destined for Moldova was not actually reaching that country.
On Monday, state gas major Gazprom said that it had noticed some of the gas intended for Moldova under a contract with the local gas firm was being diverted by Ukraine. If the imbalance in gas transit continues, Gazprom will start reducing gas flows via Ukraine on the morning of November 28, the Russian gas giant said.
Also on Monday, the European Commission published its decision on the gas price cap demanded by more than half of EU members. The cap was set at 275 euros per one megawatt-hour, to be triggered only if two conditions are met at the same time and to be deactivated if it puts energy markets in jeopardy.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.