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Europe’s energy crisis “is far from over” as risks to supply will continue to persist until new LNG volumes hit the market in 2026, according to Catherine MacGregor, chief executive at French utility giant Engie.
Europe expects the coming winter with more confidence compared to last year, but the EU shouldn’t be complacent amid rising LNG demand from other regions and risks to supply disruptions, MacGregor said at an annual event of gas industry association France gaz, as carried by Montel.
“The crisis is far from over. We must remain vigilant,” MacGregor told the conference.
Europe’s room to manoeuver in the coming years could be limited until new LNG supply becomes available after 2026, the executive added.
The EU’s gas storage sites were 94% full early this week after the bloc reached its target to have storage 90% full by November 1 two months in advance.
However, European benchmark prices have been volatile in recent weeks due to strikes at Australian LNG export facilities and signs of rising spot LNG demand from Asia.
Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, expects natural gas prices to remain high until at least 2027, the government said last month in a report on the measures to mitigate high energy costs for households.
A week earlier, INES, the group of German gas storage operators, said in its August gas update that Germany would continue to be at risk of natural gas shortages until the 2026/2027 winter season unless it takes measures to add LNG terminals, additional gas storage capacity, or pipelines.
“The risk of a gas shortage during cold temperatures still exists and will probably remain with us until winter 2026/27 without further infrastructural measures. Only after that, reduced gas consumption might eliminate the need for further measures,” INES’s managing director Sebastian Bleschke said in a statement in early August.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com