Alexey Belogoryev, Research and Development Director at the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented on the progress of the European gas market preparation for the heating period to Kommersant FM.
Could the EU face a fuel shortage in the midst of preparing for winter?
Alexey Belogoryev believes that such a problem will not arise:
"Preparation for winter includes three factors. The first is filling UGS. They coped with it perfectly. The filling level is already more than 97%. And there is still a chance to increase stocks a little. I think it is possible to reach 98%. A very good indicator. There is still a certain amount of gas that has been pumped into Ukrainian storage facilities. They, in fact, were already filled out of desperation, because there was nowhere to put gas in July, in August, in September.
The second factor is ensuring sustainable imports. Here the situation is a little more complicated. During the autumn-winter period, supplies from Norway will be stable. Many LNG suppliers choose Asia over Europe. In September, indeed, there was the lowest level of LNG supplies since February 2022. But, most likely, during the heating period, the supply of liquefied natural gas will recover again.
The third factor is demand, which has been declining quite actively in the period from January to August. Demand is expected to be higher, because there will obviously not be such abnormally warm weather as in 2022. In general, if we summarize, the EU and the UK have quite reliably prepared for the winter period. There are no risks of a physical gas shortage."
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