Austrian energy giant comments on replacing Russian gas
Austria’s OMV is “trying to find sanction-conformed solutions” as Gazprom demands ruble payment for gas
Replacing Russian gas with other sources will be next to impossible in the near term, according to Alfred Stern, CEO of Austrian oil and gas company OMV.
“On the supply of gas for Europe, I think we should be rather clear, that in the short run it will be very difficult for Europe if not impossible to substitute the Russian gas flows,” Stern said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.”
Stern’s comments come amid repeated calls from many European nations to reduce reliance on Russian energy that grew louder due to the Moscow’s military operation in the neighboring Ukraine.
“If you look at the total European picture, the quantities just work out in such a way that we will not be able to substitute in the short run the full quantity with European production or imports from other sources,” he said, adding that the capacity for receiving gas from other exporters can be built up over time, but not in the short run.
The top manager also said that OMV is currently analyzing the payment request it received from Russian energy company Gazprom in an attempt to get the correct solution.
“We are trying to find sanction-conformed solutions how to bring this forward. We are in the middle of this work, and I cannot comment what the outcome will be,” Stern said.
In March, Moscow demanded that hostile states, which have imposed economic sanctions on Moscow, pay for Russian gas in rubles. Commenting on that, Brussels said that the scheme would breach Ukraine-related sanctions. However, EU authorities later changed their tune, while several member states agreed to use the new payment mechanism and have made their first payments in the Russian currency.
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