Europe heads more comfortably into winter without Russia’s Nord Stream gas

High levels of gas storage, lower energy prices and new sources of fuel mean Europe is heading into a second winter with scarce Russian gas in a more comfortable position than a year ago.

After decades of relying on Russia to supply cheap gas, resuming that dependency became more unlikely than ever following the unexplained explosions a year ago today that hit the Nord Stream pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

Before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline had accounted for 15% of Europe's gas imports in 2021, according to the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. A second Nord Stream 2 link was planned but never operated.

At the time of the pipeline attack, European gas prices were three times higher than before Russia invaded Ukraine and industries were cutting output to contain gas costs.


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