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Germany can last 2.5 months without Russian gas, official says

Russia has been reducing delivieries through its gas pipelines to Europe in retaliation for economic sanctions

Russia has been reducing delivieries through its gas pipelines to Europe in retaliation for economic sanctions

German energy official Klaus Müller, the head of the Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, said Germany could manage for 2.5 months without Russian gas this winter.

"If the storage facilities in Germany were mathematically 100% full... we could do without Russian gas completely... for just about 2.5 months and then the storage tanks will be empty," he told the Maybrit Illner program Thursday on the German ZDF channel.

He said Germany needs to save gas and find new suppliers amid a supply crunch by Russia.

During a separate interview with broadcaster RTL/ntv, he said consumer gas prices for Germans could triple.

Earlier on Thursday, Germany entered phase 2 of its emergency gas plan, which would allow suppliers to pass on high costs to consumers, but only with the official approval of the Bundesnetzagentur.

Müller said if Germany enters phase 3 of the plan, it would have "terrible and drastic" consequences for the gas industry. Under this phase, the Bundesnetzagentur would ration gas, prioritizing private households over energy firms.

Germany facing energy crisis as Russia squeezes gas supplies

Germany is heavily reliant on Russian gas. Although Germany and other EU member states have imposed an embargo on Russian oil in response to the invasion of Ukraine, Berlin has shied away from implementing a ban on Russian gas imports.

Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom said earlier this month it would further reduce gas supplies to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Gazprom has also reduced gas deliveries to France and Italy amid western sanctions on Russia.

In order to diversify its energy strategy away from Russian sources, Germany recently signed a gas partnership with Qatar. Germany is also firing up coal plants to become more self-sufficient, despite the environmental drawbacks.

wd/sms (Reuters, dpa)