The Russian gas share this year averages 60 percent, according to E-Control, the Austrian energy regulatory authority. In September it was even 80 percent – almost the same as at the beginning of the war. Ex-E-Control boss Walter Boltz and ex-OMV boss Gerhard Roiss have warned that delivery failures from Russia would result in higher prices.
Two months after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Energy Minister Gavesler (Greens) made a completely different announcement: Austria should become completely independent from Russian gas by 2027. No sign of this has been found yet.
Experts are now also criticizing the pipeline’s operator, Gas Connect Austria (GCA). It is said that they are not pursuing the expansion of the pipeline for German gas sufficiently. “At the moment the majority of it still comes from Russia,” says GCA boss Stefan Wagenhofer in a radio interview.
The gas flows through Ukraine to Austria. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanyshchyna has promised that it will stay that way. But according to E-Control boss Carola Milgram, that doesn’t change the risk of pipelines being damaged in conflict zones. Milgram warned, “The line is still in the war zone.”
Austria is definitely adamant on Russian gas. The current supply contract will not expire until 2040. However, if supplies stop, OMV has already secured alternative gas sources. But as former E-Control boss Walter Boltz reports, most regional energy suppliers are heavily dependent on Russia.