Europe could run out of Russian gas next summer

The country supplies Europe with 40% of its gas. If the group is negotiating supplies with new supplier countries, "we must be lucid" warned its boss, Catherine MacGregor, for whom all the Russian gas cannot be replaced.

Europe could run out of Russian gas next summer
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which was to deliver Russian gas to Germany, on March 1, 2022. (JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP)

If Europe were to no longer receive Russian gas , the first difficulties would appear with the filling of the tanks for next winter, warned Sunday March 6 the general manager of Engie Catherine MacGregor in an interview with "Echos" .

"The real problem would be filling storage in spring and summer, in preparation for winter 2022-2023 ," said the CEO of the French group. “It would be very difficult to find the necessary volumes and it would be very hard in the event of a long conflict in Ukraine. “ In reality, we would then be entering a new world for energy, under the effect of a physical shock and an unprecedented price shock which would undoubtedly transform the energy landscape in the long term” , analyzes Catherine MacGregor.

“For the winter that is ending, there would be no supply problem, especially since it is rather mild. Even being totally deprived of Russian gas, we could cope thanks to suppliers from other countries, by gas pipeline or by LNG tanker for LNG , ”said the DG of Engie.

“Cap wholesale gas prices in Europe”

Fear of disruptions in exports from Russia, which provides 40% of European gas imports , caused its price to soar in Europe to a new all-time high on Friday. Russian gas represents 20% of Engie's supplies.

The group is negotiating additional volumes with Norway, the Netherlands, Algeria and the United States "but we have to be lucid" , underlined Catherine McGregor: "The levers that are in our hands are of limited scope. . They will not be enough to replace all the gas that comes from Russia today. »

In the event of a cut, “it is not unimaginable that the public authorities will put in place measures to limit demand” , underlined the DG of Engie. Both industrialists and citizens could also lower their consumption, in particular heating. It would also be necessary to "cap wholesale gas prices in Europe, which would have the merit by extension of limiting electricity prices" , and accelerate in renewable energies, whether wind turbines or biomethane, according to Catherine MacGregor.

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