As the Russia-Ukraine war rages on and Europe continues its unwavering support of Ukraine, many fear that an energy crisis may occur in the winter due to a vindictive Russia stopping its supply of natural gas to the region.

Many experts in the field believe that a harsh winter is ahead of Europe due to its support of Ukraine, with prices of natural gas skyrocketing across the region as energy heads like Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden say that rationing may have to occur, according to Insider.

“I think we will be facing a really tough winter in Europe,” he said. “Maybe some countries will fare better than others, but I think we will all be facing very significantly escalating pricing, so there will be a lot of pressure on industry and therefore there will be a lot of pressure on the economy... In the worst case, we will be in a situation where we have to ration.”

Alex Munton, Rapidan Energy Group’s resident expert on the global gas markets, claims that this may be the worst energy crisis to have happened in Europe at any point of time, especially as the last link of natural gas from Russia to Europe, the Nord Stream 1, will undergo maintenance repairs that could be sabotaged by the Kremlin themselves, Foreign Policy reported.

“Europe [is] looking at the very real prospect of not having sufficient gas when it’s most needed, which is during the coldest part of the year,” he said. “Prices have shot through the roof, [and $50 per MMBTu is] an extraordinarily high price to be paying for natural gas, and really there is no immediate way out from here.”

The European Union and its member-states have no immediate solution to the looming problem, especially as strikes from multiple countries are occurring due to the rising cost of living and runaway inflation. Helima Croft from RBC Capital Markets, believes that there may be no way out of this situation and that a “winter of discontent” is upon Europe.

“Rationing, industrial shut-ins—all of that is looming,” she said.

Europe appears to be on the brink of a major energy crisis that will force them to ration as fears escalate that Russian President Vladimir Putin will use Russia's gas supply as a way of retaliating for Europe's support of Ukraine. This is a representational image. Patrick Hendry/Unsplash.

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