Germany says it can last 2.5 months without Russian gas after Russia throttled its supply

Germany says it can last 2.5 months without Russian gas after Russia throttled its supply
Part of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.Stefan Sauer/Getty Images
  • Germany declared a natural gas shortage this week after Russia throttled supplies.
  • An energy official told ZDF that Germany can last up to 2.5 months without any Russian gas.

Germany could last for about two and a half months without Russian gas if its storage tanks were full, a top official said on Friday.

Klaus Müller, the head of Germany's energy regulator, told the public broadcaster ZDF that the government must take significant steps to save gas and quickly find new suppliers after Russia throttled supplies this week.

"If the storage facilities in Germany were mathematically 100% full ... we could do without Russian gas completely ... for just about two-and-a-half months and then the storage tanks will be empty," he said.

Storage is about 58% full, which is higher than at this time last year, but time is running out to top them up before the winter months.

Muller also warned of "difficult" autumn and winter months ahead and said Germans may see their gas bills double or even triple.


"Everyone in the industry and in their home life can contribute to this — and yes, this also includes jumpers, shower heads, turning the heating down a bit, all of this helps," he said.

Russia started cutting gas flows to Germany on June 14 in retaliation over European sanctions and military support for Ukraine following its invasion.

On Thursday, Robert Habeck, the economic affairs minister, declared a natural gas shortage and said the top priority for Germany was filling storage tanks in time for winter.

He said the government was moving into the second phase of its three-stage emergency plan to protect supplies. The second phase does not call for state intervention, but certain sectors would have supplies prioritized under the third stage.

"Companies would have to stop production, lay off their workers, supply chains would collapse, people would go into debt to pay their heating bills," Habeck told Der Spiegel magazine.


Last week, Gazprom, the state-controlled Russian energy company, announced that it cut natural-gas flows through the Nord Stream pipeline running into Germany by about 60%.