Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Politics and Geopolitics / Present and future of Europe / Articles
The European Commission has identified four basic scenarios of the gas crisis
Material posted: Publication date: 17-10-2014

The European Commission on behalf of EU leaders in June, prepared a report with detailed assessment of potential disruptions of gas supplies in various European countries. The seriousness of the issue says the scale of the work ‒ six documents, in the amount of almost 100 pages. The gas crisis was simulated in the four main scenarios ‒ a termination of transit of Russian gas through Ukraine or a complete stop of Russian supplies to Europe for one month or six months (September ‒ February). Focus on the extreme scenario of a complete cessation of Russian gas supplies until the end of winter.

Considered scenarios "in any case are not predictions, they were selected based on the intention to test the gas system [European] under stringent conditions, including a complete shutdown of supplies from the main external supplier of gas", underlines the European Commission.

Modeling the gas crisis was dealt with by the European network of transmission system operators (ENTSOG) ‒ industry Association. The simulation showed that in different podsahania autumn-winter shutoff of supply of the European Union and parties to the European Energy community (Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Moldova, Kosovo) in the amount will lose about 5 to 9 billion cubic meters of gas, even if that fully utilize alternative sources of supply.

Additionally, ENTSOG has considered two scenarios of the behavior of European countries in case of gas crisis ‒ cooperation (when countries agree to evenly split between a shortage of supply) and cooperazione ("every man for himself"). In the absence of cooperation between the countries will be hardest hit Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina ‒ by the end of winter they will not get the 40% gas or more, even if you stop only the supply of Russian fuel through Ukraine. If Russia completely block the pipelines, part of the Balkan countries will remain without 60-100 per cent of their gas, and without gas will remain Finland and Estonia.

The situation is aggravated if the upcoming winter in Europe will be colder than usual. ENTSOG introduce the hypothetical frost within two weeks. In this case, a small shortage of gas is in the range of 10% ‒ can occur in Central and Western Europe (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Slovakia), if European States to show solidarity in sharing the burden of backorders. If cooperation is not, Western and Central Europe will not feel any problems, but have heavier Poland and the Balkans.

The Baltic States and Finland

Large-scale disruptions in gas supplies from Russia can have a very negative impact on the situation in the region. Even if the pause in deliveries last month, a significant shortage of gas will feel industrial consumers in Estonia and Latvia. Thus Estonia will suffer more, because for four or five days in the system of the Republic will remain even gas to protected consumers ‒ households and small and medium businesses. Lithuania thanks to the agreement with Latvia on the supply from the inčukalns underground gas storage facility will be affected to a lesser degree.

If the pause in deliveries will be delayed, all the Baltic countries will experience a shortage of gas and in varying degrees affected vulnerable consumers. Estonia and Lithuania will be in the most difficult situation is reducing gas supply could affect more than 80% of unprotected consumers in the two republics. The shortage of gas can be partly offset by switching to alternative fuels. Previously, Lithuania and Estonia has committed itself to build appropriate reserves.

In the case of Finland is fully dependent on Russia in gas supplies and cut off from the rest of the gas markets of the EU, a relatively small share of natural gas in the energy mix of the country coupled with the already implemented by the authorities a package of measures (mandatory reserves of gas and alternative fuels, the use of air propane) considerably reduces the consequences of possible disruptions in Russian gas supplies. Even if they will be delayed for six to seven months, protected consumers in the country will be provided with necessary amount of gas. In addition, during this time, suppliers will be able to purchase additional volumes of alternative fuels on the open market to form the reserves to the resumption of gas supplies.

South-East Europe

If the break in gas supplies from Russia for six months, in relative terms more than other countries in the region will suffer, Bulgaria. The greatest shortage of gas in terms of absolute volumes will experience Hungary and Romania as large in capacity markets. Croatia and Greece will suffer less. Greece is the only country in the focus groups, a situation which will worsen with the activation of the mechanism "collective" solution (cooperative scenario). This is due to the fact that Greece will be forced to share the burden of deficit with Bulgaria.

Despite the relatively large-scale reduction of gas supplies to industrial clients (in the case of a complete stop of gas imports from Russia), to limit the supply of households won't need it if all EU member States will adopt a collective approach.

Ivan Tkachev, Oleg Makarov


Tags: Europe , geopolitics , gaz

RELATED MATERIALS: Politics and Geopolitics
Возрастное ограничение