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Gas storage sites in Germany, now nearly 90% full, will be empty after the winter, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Monday.
Gas storage capacity in Germany is almost 90% full, although the country no longer purchases gas at any price, the minister was quoted as saying.
Gas storage sites in Germany were nearly 90% full as of September 18, higher than the EU average of 85.6% full storage, according to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe.
The EU has achieved its 80% gas storage use target two months ahead of November 1, but gas in storage covers only 20%-25% of annual consumption in the bloc, Fitch Ratings said last week as it raised its European TTF and U.S. Henry Hub gas price assumptions in the short and medium term.
In Germany, despite faster storage builds than usual, Europe's biggest economy will only have enough natural gas to cover two and a half months of consumption this winter if Russia completely suspends deliveries, Klaus Müller, the president of Germany's Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur, said in the middle of August.
Two weeks later, Russia shut down Nord Stream, the main gas export pipeline to Germany, saying it wouldn't reopen until Western sanctions impeding gas turbine repairs in the West are not lifted.
Last week, Müller said that Germany could see severe nationwide gas shortages, which it would not be able to predict more than two weeks in advance.
"If we get a very cold winter, we have a problem," Müller said in an interview with German business daily Handelsblatt.
Due to the weather forecasts, Germany will not be able to predict gas demand more than two weeks in advance, he added.
Signs are mounting that the German economy is slipping into recession, which will deepen as we head into the winter months amid the ongoing energy crisis, Bundesbank, the central bank of Germany, said in its monthly report on Monday.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,