Head Shell warns
The gas shortage in Europe will continue for several winters
Europe is hoping for a mild winter so it can better deal with the loss of Russian gas. But this winter is not over yet: the shortage will continue for years. The heads of two multinational oil companies warn of this.
And Ben van Beurden, president of Shell, warns that the gas shortage will not end in the spring either.
Europe trembles before next winter – but the problem of impending gas shortages will by no means be resolved next spring. Ben van Beurden, 64, chief executive of Shell Energy, warns against this. “I don’t think this crisis will be limited to just one winter,” Van Beurden said at a news conference in Norway on Monday. “We may have a series of winters where we somehow have to find solutions through efficiency, through rationing and through a very rapid accumulation of possible alternatives, such as alternative gas imports and alternative energy sources.”
Van Beurden considers a quick fix to the energy crisis an “illusion”. Moreover: “If there were no more supplies of Russian gas, life would be very difficult.” The European Union is seeking to achieve the goal of complete independence from Russian gas within five years.
Multinational oil companies post record profits
With Patrick Boyani, 59, CEO of Total, a second senior energy manager agreed to the warning of the Shell boss. However, Boyani stressed that there is enough energy on the planet to replace Russian gas.
What the two presidents didn’t say: Their companies are benefiting greatly from the impending energy shortage in Europe. Thanks to the high prices of gas and crude oil, they are making record profits, while consumers have to dig deep into their pockets at the pump and to keep warm. Politicians around the world – including in Switzerland – are calling for taxes to be imposed on the profits of the crisis for multinational oil companies.
Meanwhile, the Swiss economy is preparing for gas and electricity quotas: thanks to voluntary savings, the Federal Council wants to use 15 percent less gas next winter. If this is not enough, the gas taps for large consumers are closed. (sfa)
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