Ahead of a three-day shutdown of Nord Stream 1 gas flows to Germany, the Russian Federation’s state-owned Gazprom on Tuesday confirmed that it would cut all gas supplies to France’s primary energy provider Engie beginning this Thursday, citing the company’s failure to pay for the gas deliveries it received in the month of July.
In a press release responding to Gazprom’s announcement, Engie sought to calm fears and quiet the doomsayers, stating that it had already put into place measures that will ensure the supply of gas to its customers, even in the event of an interruption flows from Russia, the Paris-based newspaper Le Figaro reports.
“Engie had already secured the volumes necessary to meet its commitment towards its customers and its own requirements,” the press release reads, adding that precautions had been taken to limit any potential “financial and physical impacts” of the disruption.
Since the onset of the Russo-Ukraine War, gas delivers from Russia had already decreased substantially, falling to 1.5 TWh per month, the French energy giant said in the press release.
Last month, Engie notified the French public that the company had greatly reduced “its financial and physical exposure to Russian gas,” which, at that point, comprised some 4% of its supplies.
Per the European Aggregated Gas Storage Inventory (AGSI) platform, as of last Thursday French gas reserves surpassed the 90% fill threshold for winter, which places supply rates roughly two months ahead of the traditional rates. France is set to meet its 100% target before November 1st, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the Minister for Energy Transition, has indicated.
Speaking about the supply squeeze, Emmanuelle Wargon, who heads France’s energy regulation commission, said that the agency is “not too worried,” citing the high level of reserves.
Olivier Véran, a spokesman for Macron, echoed the Wargon and Pannier-Runacher’s sentiments, saying that the gas supply target would be achieved “by the end of the summer.” However, he warned that doesn’t necessarily mean that France would have “enough gas to spend throughout winter if the Russians cut it down and if we consume a lot of it.”
Gazprom’s announcement comes several days after electricity prices in France climbed to more than 1,100 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh), an increase of more than 1,000% compared to the same time last year, as The European Conservative previously reported.