MOSCOW, 3 Oct — PRIME. Underground storage facilities in Europe risk losing almost all of their reserves and drop to 5% in February if Russian pipeline gas supplies to the region are completely cut off from November 1 and the supply of liquefied natural gas is limited, according to a new quarterly report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The IEA notes that at the end of September, the European “subways” are almost 90% full. However, the risk of a complete loss of Russian supplies is a big challenge for filling UGS facilities next winter. Therefore, the agency assessed the consequences if exports from the Russian Federation cease from November 1.
“In February, gas storage facilities will be filled to less than 20% with a high level of LNG supply and almost 5% if LNG supply is low. Falling stocks to these levels will increase the risk of supply disruptions in case of late cold weather,” the IEA experts said.
“To maintain gas reserves above 25% with reduced LNG supply, it will be necessary to reduce gas demand in the EU in the winter by 9% compared to the average level over the past five years. And to maintain the level of reserves above 33%, it will be necessary to reduce demand by 13%” , they write.
Thus, measures to save gas will be essential to minimize withdrawals from underground storage facilities and maintain reserves at an adequate level until the end of the heating season, the IEA concludes.