A week-long suspension of gas flows from Russia via the Turk-Stream pipeline begins today. While the suspension is related to
A week-long suspension of gas flows from Russia via the Turk-Stream pipeline begins today.
While the suspension is related to maintenance, it will have significant geopolitical effects. This is because European countries are increasing their gas storage in anticipation of Russia’s cutting supplies or future sanctions to target Russian gas imports. The suspensions come amid a new EU proposal requiring member states to fill storage sites to 80% capacity by the beginning of November and to 90% in later years. Gas storage levels in the EU have risen steadily since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and are currently at 54% capacity.
However, the week-long suspension will force countries such as Italy—which relies on Turk-Steam—to either use parts of their current stockpiles or reduce the amount of gas stored to make up for shortfalls, increasing the amount of time required to hit the bloc-wide 80% target. European countries are also attempting to find alternative gas providers, such as Qatar, to both increase their supplies and diversify their sources. Expect the EU to reach its November target provided neither it nor Russia takes drastic measures to limit trade in the near term. The EU also plans to accelerate its energy transition.
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