Gas shortage in Germany could hamper exports to Europe
Germany has moved to an alert level regarding its gas supply, and government estimates point to a difficult winter. It then had to make a difficult choice: continue to supply European countries or keep the gas for its own citizens?
Gazprom, the Russian state-owned gas giant, has reduced flows through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to 40% of its capacity. With the pipeline due for maintenance in July, Berlin and the sector in general fear that gas deliveries will not resume afterwards, which would put Germany in a very delicate situation.
Avoid a gas shortage “is only possible if we do not send gas from our reserves to neighboring European countries”German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck explained on Thursday.
If the flows passing through Nord Stream 1 remain at 40% of its capacity and Germany maintains the level of its exports to European neighbors, the country would then face a gas shortage at the beginning of February 2023, forecasts the Federal Network Agency.
Nineteen terawatt hours (TWh) of gas would be lacking, unless 20% gas savings were achieved and a significant liquefied natural gas (LNG) import capacity of 13 billion m3 was put in place.
Without the gas from Nord Stream 1 and continued exports, the situation would be even worse. Gas shortages would begin as early as mid-December, with a total shortfall of 107 TWh. Taking into account a 20% gas saving and an LNG import capacity, there would still be a shortfall of 44 TWh.
The reduction in gas flows is estimated at 60% of the normal volume of exports to European countries, based on the reduction observed from June 16 to 20.
Without Russian gas next winter, Germany will be faced with a difficult choice from mid-December. If its neighbors are supplied with gas, then its industry could be forced to do without it.
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