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Uniper CEO Says German Companies May Still Source LNG from Russia, Despite Policy Shift

Michael Lewis, the chief executive officer of the German energy company Uniper, has not ruled out the potential that Germany may continue to get liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia despite the announced policy of not purchasing it from Russia. This is because Michael Lewis has not ruled out the chance that Germany may continue to receive LNG from other countries.

Lewis noted in an interview with the Rheinische Post newspaper that Russia is still selling LNG on the global market and that players in wholesale trading, including Uniper, do not always know the origin of the gas they purchase. After the end of August 2022, Uniper could no longer purchase gas from Russia. As a direct consequence, the organisation declared a loss of €19.1 billion by the international rules for financial reporting for the year 2022.

Given that Germany’s underground gas storage facilities (UGS) are currently at a fill rate of 95%, the head of the conglomerate believes that the country is better prepared for gas delivery this winter than last year. Nevertheless, he issued a caution about the current dangers. He observed that this winter would be challenging if it gets particularly cold and/or if there are problems with LNG purchases. According to Lewis’s analysis, if China’s economy continues to grow and its need for LNG increases, there may be a scarcity in Europe, or it may become very costly. The gas market remains volatile, and even modest disruptions can lead to price spikes, he pointed out, adding that he does not anticipate price hikes similar to those that were witnessed in the 2022/2023 season. “The gas market remains volatile,”

Earlier, the German Ministry of Economy voiced opposition to Germany purchasing gas from Russia, including in the form of LNG. However, the department recognised that it is nearly impossible to determine whether or not it enters the European gas system because individual enterprises rather than the state make purchases.

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