Gas: how ready is Europe for winter 2023/24?

In the aftermath of the Russian attack on Ukraine in February 2022, European gas markets experienced a very bumpy road. Fears of empty storages and gas shortages for winter 2022/23 propelled prices to c. 350€/MWh at the end of August 2022.

One year on, thanks to a massive recourse to LNG from the US, sharp reductions in consumption (both domestic and industrial) and a mild winter, the situation seems to be back to the one prevailing until mid-2021 – when Russia started furtively reducing gas shipments to Europe, six months ahead of its attack on Ukraine.

Many steps have been taken both at EU and national levels to prepare for next winter. But is the situation as under control as it now looks?

Launched in May 2022, the REPowerEU plan helped the EU to get ready to replace Russian gas imports (see Newsletter June 2022: REPowerEU: “green” and economic cost at stake?). Amongst its key achievements, the EU has reduced its dependency on Russian fossil fuels, cut its energy consumption by almost 20% (15% for gas) and introduced a gas price cap mechanism.

Since September 2022, Russian gas accounts for only 8% of all pipeline gas imported into the EU, compared to 41% of EU imports from Russia in August 2021.

A common gas procurement platform has been implemented, allowing the EU to attract bids from a total number of 25 supplying companies last May, equivalent to more than 13.4 billion cubic meters of gas (bcm).

Even more importantly, the EU agreed to fill underground gas storages to 90% of capacity by 1st November each year, and is well underway to achieving this target ahead of the coming winter:

Seasonal Supply Outlook Monitoring – Source ENTSOG

Will that be sufficient? It is doubtful that gas consumption will continue declining as it did last year – industrial gas consumption was badly hit because of anticipated high prices, and the winter was mild. A cold winter could come as an unwanted surprise.

The level of gas demand for electricity generation will also play an important role – EDF’s nuclear power plants fleet unavailability added to problems last winter, and there are still 22 reactors unavailable – out of the 56 operated by EDF – at this time.

On the supply side, new LNG terminals will come online this winter, starting with TotalEnergies floating gas storage and unloading facility at Le Havre, planned for September.

However, LNG prices are international – dependent on the appetite for gas in other parts of the world, particularly in Eastern Asia. China is now experiencing an economic recovery, boosted by the end of Covid-era restrictions, but it still seems somewhat shaky. The strength of that recovery will play an important role in the level of LNG prices.

Europe is also now extremely dependent on Norwegian gas imports. Problems at the Norwegian Snøvit LNG plant, as well as maintenance works on gas production facilities on the Norwegian shelf, have recently led to restrictions in gas flows towards Europe, triggering a rebound in gas prices. This is a reminder of how much Europe is exposed to the least incident there, to replace curtailed Russian gas.

Finally, at the French level, the interruption in Russian gas imports since last summer has created a gas flow map never anticipated before:

Gas flow map – Source GRTgaz

Restrictions in flows are now seen in a South-West to North-East direction, while grid congestion limits used to happen in the opposite direction. A careful management of gas storage withdrawals will have to be implemented, with a view to preserving gas inventories in storages in the North, while maximizing withdrawals in the South-West.

Overall, maximum precautions have been taken to prepare for the coming winter, but it will continue to be work in progress. There is no safety net, and the least unanticipated problem on the supply side, e.g., disturbances in Norway, LNG moving to Eastern Asia etc., or on the demand side, e.g., a very cold winter, high demand for gas in power generation to make up for nuclear generation, etc., could lead to large price jumps. High volatility in gas prices will most likely be faced again this winter. Unfortunately!

Philippe Lamboley

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Each month, one of our experts publishes an article describing his view on a specific topic of the constant changes taking place in the energy market, with special focus on the French market.

Profesional Experience & Education

Diego graduated in Political Economy at King’s College University (London – 2021). He started his professional career in a family business in Madrid as an operations manager. Diego then studied a Master in Management and Master in Computer Science at IE University (Madrid – 2022), during which he participated as an Information Technology (IT) intern in a startup. In May 2023, Diego joined the HES team as an intern specialised in programming models. In his first project, he developed a software tool for modelling the unavailability of the French nuclear fleet. Afterwards, Diego has also participated in the development of new software tools for modelling price curves, generation asset performance and other topics related to the energy market. 

Diego Marroquin

Junior Consultant

Haya Energy-6

Profesional Experience

Céline joined Haya Energy Solutions in November 2021 as marketing and administration manager. She had a first professional experience in the tourism sector as a social media manager. At HES, her activities are focused on the development of the company’s visibility at European level through: commercial actions, content marketing and development of brand strategy. Céline is also involved in the management of the company’s communication: optimisation of the website (WordPress & Elementor), LinkedIn, publication of the monthly newsletter and the organisation of conferences. Céline participates in energy projects with the clients and acts as coordinator and project manager. Finally, she is in charge of administration (accounting, expenses management, invoicing).   


Céline graduated in Spanish and English Philology at La Sorbonne (France – 2018) and holds a Master’s degree in Project Management and Cultural Tourism (Clermont-Ferrand/ Buenos Aires – 2021). 

Céline Haya Sauvage

Marketing Responsible

Céline Sauvage

Investment Advice

“Decarbonization of the Energy and Transport sectors is arguably today’s main economic driver for the industry.”

Profesional Experience

His career started in civil engineering as a Project Manager in France, Martinique and Australia. Afterwards, he became the General Manager of a subsidiary in Venezuela. In 1992, he established Dalkia in Germany (district heating, cogeneration, and partnerships) and represented Véolia in Thailand. In 2000, he opened the commercial office of Endesa in France to take advantage of the liberalized retail market. From 2006, as a development Manager at Endesa France, he led Endesa’s plan for Combined Cycle generation in France and developed the wind and PV portfolio of Snet at the same time. Philippe Boulanger worked for 3 years at E.ON’s headquarters coordinating the company´s activities in France. He was strongly involved in the French hydro concession renewal project. As a Senior Vice President – Project Director at Solvay Energy Services from April 2012 to February 2014 he was in charge of the H2/Power to gas and European direct market access deployment projects. Philippe has been an HES expert since 2014.


Philippe Boulanger holds engineering degrees both from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts & Chaussées (France) and has a combined experience of more than 25 years in energy and infrastructure. In addition to English, Mr. Boulanger is fluent in French, German & Spanish.

Philippe Boulanger

Electricity Expert


“The world is changing. New investors pay particular attention to the energy sector while historical actors adapt their position to the market.”

Profesional Experience

Antonio started his career in the electricity sector in 1991 working as a member of the General Manager’s team at Sevillana de Electricidad (Spain). In 1997, he was appointed head of commercial regulation at Endesa Distribución. In 2000, he joined the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) department of Endesa Europe. He was appointed Managing Director of Endesa Power Trading Ltd (UK) in 2003. A year later, he became responsible for energy management at SNET (France). In 2008, he was appointed Managing Director of SNET (France). In 2009, he became Director of Corporate Development at E.ON France. In 2011, he founded Haya Energy Solutions (HES), a consulting firm focused on optimising the energy management of consumers, producers and retailers of gas and electricity. From 2015 to 2018, Antonio combined the consulting activity at HES with the general management of 2 production facilities in France (2 CCGTs x 410MW), owned by KKR. At the end of 2018, he joined Asterion Industrial Partners, an infrastructure investment fund, as an operating partner. Antonio currently devotes most of his efforts to the Asterion Portfolio, while advising through HES companies in the energy sector in France, Italy, Germany, UK and Spain. 


Antonio graduated from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros of Seville (Spain) and holds an MBA degree from Deusto University (Spain). 

Antonio Haya