As the conflict in Ukraine heads towards the colder months of the year, some of Europe’s gas consumers wonder if they should brace for supply disruptions from its biggest provider, Russia. Russia’s energy exports have been subject to political maneuvering as Europe and Moscow clashed over the war in Ukraine. Dutch gas transmission operator, Gasunie Transport Services (GTS), has guaranteed, however, there would be no lack of gas supply in the Netherlands in the coming winter even if Russian gas stops flowing.
The company carried out a risk analysis of all possible scenarios and found that even in case of a complete cessation of Russian supplies, mandatory shutdowns can be avoided. “It is good news for Dutch customers that, as long as certain conditions are met, there will be no mandatory shut-off of the gas supply for consumers over the coming winter,” GTS director Bart Jan Hoevers says. “Other emergency measures such as extra production from the Groningen field do not appear to be necessary in the coming months either. What remains essential, however, is that we reduce our natural gas consumption together. It is also essential that measures be taken to ensure sufficient gas in the gas stores and a maximum supply of LNG.”
Market demand for gas has declined by 20% due to high prices, which helps to fill gas storage facilities as quickly as possible, GTS says. The Netherlands may also increase coal-fired power generation over the coming six to eighteen months as an emergency gas saving measure. “Dutch gas stores are filled to at least 80%. It is expected that even if the current shutdown of Nord Stream 1 lasts longer, the gas storage facilities can be filled sufficiently to achieve the target of 80%,” the company promises.
In addition, Gasunie subsidiary EemsEnergyTerminal has contracted 7 billion cubic metres of liquefied natural gas per year to be delivered to its terminals in Eemshaven in order to reduce the country dependence on Russian energy.