A historic heatwave has increased demand for energy to help cool the continent’s homes and businesses, and now Europe is preparing for the possibility of a full-blown gas crisis later this week.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which connects Russia’s gas to the EU, is scheduled to resume on Thursday following ten days of standard maintenance. As a result of the sanctions the European Union has put in place since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February, there is growing concern that Russia may continue to cut off the water supply.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck stated earlier this month that the nation must “be prepared for the worst.”
“Anything is possible. It’s possible that the gas will flow even more freely this time around. It’s possible that nothing will materialise at all “In a radio interview, Habeck stated.
Around 40% of Europe’s total pipeline imports from Russia are delivered to the continent through this pipeline each year, totaling 55 billion cubic metres of gas.
It’s possible that Moscow’s gas will completely stop being used. The nation has already reduced its gas shipments to a number of European nations. Germany, the largest economy in the area, declared a “gas crisis” last month when Gazprom, Russia’s national gas provider, reduced exports through the pipeline by 60%.
Gazprom attributed the action to the West’s choice to withhold necessary turbines as a result of sanctions.
Uniper, a German gas distributor, stated on Monday that it had received a letter from Gazprom citing a force majeure for previous and ongoing gas delivery deficits. A contract provision known as a “force majeure” gives a business an exemption from its commitments. Typically, it is used in dire situations like natural catastrophes.
However, a representative for Uniper told CNN that the company has “officially disputed” the assertion. Due to the effects of Russian gas supply problems, the troubled company also took down a €2 billion ($2.04 billion) credit line with bank KfW on Monday.