Gas shortage in Germany could hamper exports to Europe

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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