France has stopped receiving gas in Russian by gas pipeline, which had already been greatly reduced since the beginning of the yearbut there will be no supply difficulties this summer since, among other things, inflows are growing due to the interconnection with Spain.
The network manager in France GRTgaz explained this Friday in a statement that the Russian gas that reaches it through the gas pipeline that connects with Germany stopped doing so on Wednesday. The flow through this Franco-German pipeline was already only 60 gigawatt hours per day at the beginning of the year, which means 10% of its capacity.
In total, the flow coming from the interconnection points that France has on its eastern borders had decreased by more than 60% in the first five months of 2021if compared to the same period in 2021.
On the contrary, in the network that connects with Spain through the Pyrenees, has increased the flow of gas that reaches Franceaveraging more than 100 gigawatt hours per day since March 1 and peaking at 220 gigawatts on some days in May.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on gas supplies in Europe is highlighting the potential interest of an increase in gas pipelines with Spain (such as the Midcat project, abandoned a few years ago), given the large capacities of regasification terminals in the Iberian Peninsula.
In France, the terminals are being used at levels “close to their technical maximum”, according to GRTgaz, which specified that in the first five months of 2022, the entries there of liquefied natural gas (LNG) they are up 66%, which is an additional 51 terawatt hours.
An increase in capacity is scheduled for Fos-Cavaou and Dunkirk and in view of the energy crisis caused by the war, the deployment of a floating terminal in the port of Le Havre is being planned. The current storage level has risen from 19% in mid-March to over 56% currentlywhen the normal for this time of year was 50%.
In any case, GRTgas stated that does not expect “any difficulty” to meet the needs of French consumers this summer.
Looking ahead to winter, his first message to the operators is that they continue to fill their reserves as much as possible.
Should Russia stop gas shipments altogether, France could cover the demand if the winter were normal in meteorological terms.
But in case of intense or late cold, warning devices should be activated to encourage people to consume less and some industrial customers could see their supply interrupted as contemplated by their contracts.