April 1, 2023

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An energy war between Europe and Russia is far from over

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Russia and Ukraine

Fatih Birol said Europe benefited from a milder climate and protected its gas reserves

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Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, has warned that an energy war between Europe and Russia is far from over.

Although natural gas prices in Europe fell by up to 85%, they rose above €300 per megawatt-hour in August, after finding alternative sources and maintaining existing supplies.

Broll emphasized the need to diversify and strengthen supplies in preparation for the coming winter.

He pointed out that Europe has benefited from mild weather as winter approaches.

On the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Birol had warned of potential energy shortages in the coming winter, with Chinese consumption expected to pick up this year as relatively small amounts of new liquefied natural gas hit the market.

Broll said European governments have made several correct decisions over the past year to ensure energy supply, such as building more LNG terminals to replace Russian gas flows through pipelines.

European governments were also lucky, he said, as a mild winter weakened demand and China’s economic slowdown led to its first decline in consumption in 40 years.

Birol continued, “We have the right to say we’ve been through the rough this winter. If there aren’t any last-minute surprises, we’ll get through it. Maybe with a few injuries here and there.” “But the question is…what will happen next winter?”

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An additional 23 billion cubic meters of LNG is expected to be produced this year, and any increase in economic output, even a small one, from the easing of pandemic restrictions would mean that China could swallow 80% of the extra supply, Broll said. gas

He added, “Even if we have enough LNG import terminals, there won’t be enough gas to import, so it won’t be easy for Europe in the coming winter,” indicating that the matter could push prices back up.

“It is not right to celebrate now,” he added.

He said that although new efforts are being made to develop new gas fields, they will not be operational for years.

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