IEA Warns EU to Ration Gas Immediately as Storage Facilities Run Dangerously Low Ahead of Winter

The EU is preparing to instruct its member states to ration natural gas usage after the IEA warned that the continent would suffer major shortages should its storage facilities run low ahead of the winter months.

According to a draft document seen by the Financial Times, the European Commission will issue voluntary gas reduction targets to its member states next week, with the potential of making the targets mandatory should shipments from Russia become even more restricted. “Acting jointly now will be less disruptive and costly, facilitating solidarity and avoiding the need for unplanned and uncoordinated actions later in a possible crisis situation with gas reserves running low,” read the paper.

The impending move by Brussels comes after the IEA told Europe that its efforts to diversify from Russian gas will put the continent in a crisis consisting of energy rationing during the winter months if consumption is not curtailed immediately to allow for the replenishment of storage facilities. In fact, the energy watchdog said that the EU’s current efforts to increase supplies from other countries such as Qatar, the US, and Nigeria aren’t enough, and the bloc will need to impose even stricter protocol, such as slashing air conditioning demand and even temporarily exempting coal-powered energy stations from emissions reductions targets.

Prior to the conflict in Ukraine, the EU received about 40% of its natural gas from Russia; however, following tit-for-tat sanctions efforts by the West, Moscow has been using its highly-demanded energy supplies as a weapon against support for Ukraine. So far, Russia has slashed gas shipments to Poland, Finland, Bulgaria, and the Baltic states, and curtailed flows to Italy and Germany. However, should additional gas cuts ensue, the EU’s GDP could fall by up to 1.5%, the commission warned in the leaked document.

Information for this briefing was found via the Financial Times. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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