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European gas shortages likely to last several winters, says Shell chief

The Guardian

European gas shortages likely to last several winters, says Shell chief

Warning raises prospect of continued rationing, as Total boss says Europe has to plan for future without Russian supplies

Gwyn Topham: Mon 29 Aug 2022 18.47 BST

Gas shortages across Europe are likely to last for several winters to come, the chief executive of Shell has said, raising the prospect of continued energy rationing as governments across the continent push to develop alternative supplies.

Cuts to the supply of Russian gas since the invasion of Ukraine have plunged European countries into a devastating energy crisis, driving up wholesale prices to leave consumers facing huge bills and the highest rates of inflation since the 1980s.

Speaking at a press conference in Norway on Monday, Ben van Beurden said the situation could persist for several years. “It may well be that we will have a number of winters where we have to somehow find solutions,” he said.

Soaring energy prices have helped oil and gas companies to record bumper profits, prompting demands for windfall taxes to help finance emergency support for struggling households and businesses.

Shell made record profits of nearly £10bn between April and June and promised to give shareholders dividends worth £6.5bn.

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