Deutsche Welle reports: The International Energy Agency warns that the EU’s efforts to end its reliance on Russian gas are simply not enough. The agency says the bloc is set to have insufficient gas supplies to see it through winter, if Russia turns off the taps. The message from the IEA came just as Russia’s Gazprom reportedly sent a letter to European importers declaring “force majeure” on deliveries down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany. The state gas producer said “extraordinary circumstances” meant the resumption of flows was beyond its control. Germany’s government says it’s now considering whether to extend the life of its three remaining nuclear power plants to alleviate the looming crisis. Meanwhile, the EU signed an agreement with Azerbaijan on Monday to double gas imports to Europe in the coming years.
In 2021, Russia sent 155 billion cubic meters of natural gas to the European Union. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline alone has the capacity to send 55 BCMs in a year. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan sent a total of 8 billion cubic meters to the EU last year. Under the deal, it is now expected to deliver still only 12 billion this year. So that wouldn’t even come close to replacing flows down Nord Stream 1, let alone Russia as a whole. Is the prospect of Russia stopping all supplies to the EU by the winter a realistic one?