Cold winter could test Germany’s gas supply, regulator warns

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Pipes from the landing facilities of the ‘Nord Stream 1’ gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

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BERLIN, Sept 15 (Reuters) – A cold winter could test Germany’s gas supply and any shortages will not be foreseeable until it is too late, the chief executive told a newspaper on Thursday. of the country’s energy regulator.

“If we have a very cold winter, we have a problem,” Bundesnetzagentur boss Klaus Mueller said in an interview with business daily Handelsblatt.

Germany is racing to meet its gas storage targets in time for winter. Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM) halted deliveries to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline on August 31 after cutting flows in June.

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“By having well-stocked storage facilities, we can buy more time for longer preparation for a gas shortage,” Mueller said in an interview. “However, we cannot predict gas consumption more than a week and a half in advance. This is mainly due to weather forecasts.”

Gas storage was at almost 89% capacity as of September 14, as Germany aims to reach 95% capacity by November 1.

Private consumer behavior and circumstances in neighboring countries will also help determine whether Germany is suffering from a shortage, Mueller said.

“There have already been more gas leaks in the past few days than I had hoped,” Mueller said.

“Given the hot weather and extremely high gas prices, I was very surprised. That has to change.”

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Reporting by Miranda Murray; edited by Rachel More and Jason Neely

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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