France prepares gas rationing — Analysis

France will be surveying the largest natural gas users in France to see which ones would need to cease normal operations should Russia cut fuel deliveries. This plan was laid out in a Friday decree by the government gazette JORF.

The document says the French gas network operator GRTgaz will collect data from the nation’s largest consumers so that the government could decide which of them could be put on pause with the least economic damage. For the purposes of this review, only entities with an average annual consumption exceeding 5 gigawatt hours will be considered.

Under threat of getting fined gas customers must take part in this survey. It is intended to simulate a situation in which Russian gas is not available in France. The country may need to ration next winter in the event of shortages this summer.

GRTgaz stated that Russian gas makes up 17% of its national mix. The operator of the network stressed that there have been no interruptions so far. However, concerns remain due to the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine.

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“I call on suppliers to fill underground storage as much as possible in order to approach next winter in the best possible conditions,” the network operator’s CEO Thierry Found said.

Ratio would be an option. “measure of last resort,”GRTgaz says that the only time this gas would be used is if there are no other options to reduce demand. GRTgaz stated that the restrictions would apply first to large gas power plants as well as industrial sites like chemical and glass-making facilities. Next, they would restrict shopping centers, stadiums, and other non-essential public areas.

European nations pledged to reduce their decades-old dependence on Russian gas in the wake of the country’s military operation against Ukraine that started in late February. The US and its allies have retaliated by imposing economic sanctions on Moscow and attempting to block international trade. 

Moscow demanded an explanation from the Westerners for seizing its foreign reserves, which were denominated as dollars or euros. “unfriendly nations”In rubles, you can pay for your natural gas purchase. European gas consumers rejected this demand saying it was against the terms of their Gazprom-monopoly contracts.

Moscow attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Minsk Protocol, which was negotiated by France and Germany, gave the regions that had broken away special status in the Ukrainian government.

Russia demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and refuse to join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to seize the two areas by force.

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