Jul 26, 2022 - World

EU agrees to curb gas consumption

Pipe systems and shut-off devices at the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the transfer station of the OPAL.
Pipe systems and shut-off devices at the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline. Photo: Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images

European Union countries on Tuesday approved a plan to curb their natural gas consumption this winter in preparation of expected supply cuts by Russia.

Driving the news: EU energy ministers approved a proposal to reduce 15% of gas from August to March.

The big picture: The proposal comes as EU countries are facing reduced gas supply from Russia, after that country's Gazprom said this week it will halt another turbine engine in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

  • The halt, which will reduce natural gas flows to only 20% of the pipeline's capacity, comes just days after Gazprom resumed sending gas to Europe after a 10-day shutdown for maintenance, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.
  • Russia is Europe's largest gas supplier, so EU energy ministers are encouraging countries to brace for limited supplies as Russia continues its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Between the lines: The proposal, which did not require unanimity to pass, gained the support from all 27 member states except Hungary, the New York Times notes.

What they're saying: "Today, the EU has taken a decisive step to face down the threat of a full gas disruption" by Russian President Vladimir Putin, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.

  • "By acting together to reduce the demand for gas, taking into account all the relevant national specificities, the EU has secured the strong foundations for the indispensable solidarity between member states in the face of Putin's energy blackmail," she said.

Go deeper... Russia's Gazprom slashes Nord Stream 1 gas flow to Europe

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