Europe will face a tough winter with even higher energy costs, Shell Plc’s Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said Thursday.
“We will be facing a really tough winter in Europe,” van Beurden said. “We will be facing a very significant escalation in prices.”
European governments and industries are on edge as gas supplies through a crucial pipeline are halted because of maintenance, and it’s not clear if they’ll ever return. Van Beurden said there’s no way to tell if the situation could escalate further into a full shutdown of flows.
“For a long time, we thought it wasn’t in Russia’s interest to cut off Russia’s largest market,” van Beurden said at a conference in Oxford, England. “He nevertheless is ready and willing to weaponize energy supplies.”
The only thing to do is to prepare ahead of time. European governments shouldn’t wait until the last minute to prepare contingency plans for what to do if the gas shuts off.
And if it does, there really aren’t many options, he said.
“In a worst case, we will be in a situation where we have to ration,” van Beurden said.