Europe must act immediately to prevent a shortage of natural gas next year as Russia slashes deliveries in the wake of the Ukraine war, the International Energy Agency warned Thursday.
The region could lack 30 billion cubic metres that it needs “to fuel its economy and sufficiently refill storage sites during the summer of 2023, jeopardising its preparations for the winter of 2023-24,” the Paris-based agency said in a report.
The IEA said the shortfall would occur if Russia stops pipelines deliveries completely and China steps up its imports of liquefied natural gas, which Europe has relied upon to replace Russian supplies.
Russia drastically cut supplies to Europe in suspected retaliation against Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, but the region was able to fill storage sites for this upcoming winter.
Moscow delivered 60 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe this year, but the IEA said in a report that it is “highly unlikely” that Russia will provide the same amount in 2023 and could cease deliveries entirely.
Europe “needs to take immediate action” to avoid the risk of a shortage next year, said the agency, which advises developed countries on energy policy.