- Russia may have to turn the natural gas tap back on for Europe, Citi’s global head of commodities research said Wednesday.
- Russia has halted Nord Stream 1 flows, and Europe is facing a worsening energy crisis ahead of winter.
- “At some point Russia might want to maximize the revenue they are getting from natural gas,” Ed Morse told Bloomberg.
Russia could make more money if it restarted natural gas flows during key winter months, according to Citigroup’s’ global head of commodities research.
State-run energy giant Gazprom halted gas deliveries to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline last week. But Russia’s ability to sell the gas elsewhere by pipeline is mostly limited to former Soviet republics, which aren’t large enough to offset the volumes that went to Europe, said Ed Morse said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
“Russia’s going to be running out of places to sell gas pretty soon,” he said.
Russian officials have stated that gas flows won’t resume until European Union sanctions are lifted, raising further concerns about how nations will endure the coming months.
However, it may be in Russia’s best interest financially to resume gas deliveries to the continent, Morse said.
“There’s only a certain modest level of switching [Russia] can do to sell gas by pipeline to other countries,” he said. “At some point Russia might say ‘hey we want to maximize revenue we’re getting from natural gas.'”
Morse added that he wouldn’t be surprised if Russia resumes gas flows after European countries start winding down efforts to stockpile enough inventory for the winter — “and Russia will make a lot of money on it.”
Europe will have to wait until the middle of the decade or later to be at a point where it can replace Russian natural gas entirely with supplies from the US and Qatar, he predicted as building facilities for liquefying gas will take years.
Meanwhile, RBC’s global commodity chief, Helima Croft, forecasted that a total Russian gas shutoff would plunge Europe into a years-long emergency.
“This may not be a crisis just for this winter,” Croft said Tuesday in an interview with CNBC. “This could be a multi-winter crisis, because if there is no gas going forward, Europe is going to have a huge supply problem going forward, even with this infrastructure build-up.”