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Shell boss warns of a bleak winter as Russia halts gas supplies

Shell boss warns energy may need to be rationed this winter as Russia chokes off gas supplies

Shell’s boss has warned that energy in the UK and Europe may need to be rationed this winter as Russia chokes on gas supplies.

Ben van Beurden predicted a “harsh winter” as Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine prompted European nations to scramble to stockpile natural gas for the colder months ahead.

That has pushed up prices for consumers and businesses, exacerbating a cost-of-living crisis.

Warning: Shell boss Ben van Beurden predicted a “harsh winter” as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine prompted European nations to scramble to stockpile natural gas for the colder months ahead

The Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline from Russia to Western Europe has been closed for ten days for maintenance work.

If, as some fear, it doesn’t reopen, the EU could struggle to meet its goal of having 80 percent of its storage capacity filled by November 1. Inventories are 62.6 percent full.

Speaking at an industry conference in Oxford, Van Beurden said: “It’s going to be a really tough winter in Europe.

“Some countries will do better than others, but we will all face a very significant escalation in energy prices.”

He said the worst-case scenario would be for Britain and Europe to ration their energy use.

Mainland Europe has typically relied on Russia for 40 percent of its gas needs, and while it intends to wean itself off those supplies in the years to come, it is still heavily dependent on them.

The UK uses much less – Russian imports accounted for just 4 per cent of gas consumption in 2021.

But it’s not immune to the crisis, as it’s still vulnerable to the disruptions in energy markets that have propelled gas and oil prices up since the war began.

Regulator Ofgem has already raised its energy price cap this year and is on track to do so again in October.

Elsewhere, French President Emmanuel Macron has warned citizens to prepare for street lights to be turned off to save energy when Russia shuts off its gas taps.

French President Emmanuel Macron (pictured Thursday during a Bastille Day parade in Paris) has warned citizens to prepare for street lights to be turned off to save energy when Russia shuts off its gas taps

French President Emmanuel Macron (pictured Thursday during a Bastille Day parade in Paris) has warned citizens to prepare for street lights to be turned off to save energy when Russia shuts off its gas taps

In a Bastille Day speech yesterday, Mr Macron said: “Summer, early autumn is going to be very tough. Russia uses energy as it uses food as a weapon of war. We should prepare for the scenario where we have to give up all Russian gas.’

He said the energy saving plan would start with turning off public lights at night.

Yesterday Germans were warned their monthly gas bills will triple next year due to the effects of the war.

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Shell boss warns of a bleak winter as Russia halts gas supplies

Source link Shell boss warns of a bleak winter as Russia halts gas supplies

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