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On Thursday, France started sending natural gas directly to Germany in an attempt to alleviate the energy crisis in Europe’s biggest economy, which used to rely heavily on Russian gas supply before the war in Ukraine.
As of October 13, French gas network operator GRTgaz is transporting natural gas to Germany at the Obergailbach interconnection point, the French firm said in a statement today.
“In an unprecedented energy context linked to the war in Ukraine, France is in solidarity with its German neighbor by sending gas directly to it,” GRTgaz said.
The marketing of the first physical flows of gas has already taken place, the company added.
The only existing interconnection point between France and Germany at Obergailbach was originally designed to operate in the Germany-to-France direction. GRTgaz and its German counterparts have made the necessary technical adjustments so that gas can now flow in the direction from France to Germany.
Klaus Müller, the president of the German Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur, thanked GRTgaz in a tweet and said that the French gas deliveries help Germany’s security of supply.
Germany’s energy regulator insists that “significant” gas and energy savings are necessary to avoid a winter of rationing and gas emergency. Households, industry, and businesses need to cut consumption by at least 20%, the regulator’s head Müller said earlier this month. Germany may be unable to avoid a gas emergency this winter if all consumers don’t significantly cut consumption in Europe’s biggest economy, the regulator and its president have said multiple times since the summer.
Gas storage sites in Germany are now 95% full, the regulator said in its latest update on the gas supply and demand situation on Thursday. Wholesale gas prices are very volatile but remain at very high levels. Businesses and households need to prepare for significantly higher gas prices, the regulator said and called once again for gas and energy savings.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,