Alexey Belogoryev, Deputy Principal Director on Energy Studies of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented on the reasons for and consequences of Russia's counter-sanctions against the Gazprom Germania group to the Ekonomika Segodnya publication.
The Reuters news agency reported that Germany has begun filling the underground gas storage (UGS) Rehden. Rehden is owned by Gazprom Germania, which was seized by the German government and placed under the control of the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). The purpose of these actions is to prepare for winter.
Most of Gazprom Germania's subsidiaries were involved in the resale of gas in Europe and Asia.
“Gazprom Germania is a holding uniting Gazprom's subsidiaries in Germany, the EU and the UK. This is a multi-profile structure with many types of activities,” Belogoryev notes.
The EU gas energy depends on Russia
“The withdrawal of Gazprom Germania actually means the closure of the European business of the Gazprom company,” Belogoryev sums up.
The acute situation with UGS facilities in the EU is due to the fact that the European authorities have set the task of achieving 80% capacity occupancy in the association by the beginning of the heating season. This figure is achievable, today the storage facilities are 33-34% full.
“If in the near future supplies from Russia stop and this lasts until the end of the summer of 2022, then the European plans are unrealistic. There is current consumption and limited supplies to the EU from other sources,” the expert states.
“In order to fill UGS facilities in such a situation, it is necessary either to take strict energy saving measures - to stop gas-fired plants - or to reduce injection, which means big risks in winter, especially in cold weather,” Belogoryev notes.
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