Europe could face an energy crisis if Russia cuts off natural gas supplies during this winter’s bitter cold snap, a warning has been issued.
In its annual “World Gas Security Review” report, released today, the International Energy Agency IEA noted that tensions in gas markets have eased significantly since the beginning of the year, but that uncertainty remains ahead of the heating season.
The report first assessed that year-to-date natural gas stocks in the European market are at reassuring levels.
Given the pace of gas deliveries observed since mid-April, Europe’s gas storage capacity is expected to fill 90% of storage by early August and 100% by mid-September.
As a result, natural gas prices have fallen significantly in recent days.
On the Dutch TTF futures market, a gauge of European gas prices, natural gas fell to €24.63 per megawatt-hour (MWh) on Monday, the lowest since early last month, according to the British daily Financial Times.
That’s down about 90 percent from the price of €340 at the end of August last year, 먹튀검증토토사이트 at the height of the energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, the International Energy Agency IEA has warned that even a 100% fill of inventories is no guarantee against market volatility during the winter months.
Russia still supplies 10% of Europe’s natural gas imports, and if this winter’s severe cold snap combines with Russian gas supply disruptions, Europe’s gas storage levels could plummet to 20% next April, leading to supply disruptions, the IEA warned.
However, the IEA said that if the winter weather is mild and liquefied natural gas supplies remain at last year’s levels, it is possible to finish the heating season with inventory levels above 50%, even if Russia cuts off gas supplies.