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Vladimir Putin has 'weaponised' energy, Europe may be forced to ration supplies this winter - Shell CEO

Business Insider US
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden.
  • Europe may have to ration energy to cope with declining Russian supply this winter, says Shell CEO.
  • Ben van Beurden predicted "significantly" higher natural gas prices if Putin cuts flows further.
  • Emmanuel Macron has asked French citizens to reduce their energy usage to avoid a difficult winter.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

Europe may have to ration energy to cope with declining Russian supply this winter, the chief executive of Shell has warned.

Ben Van Beurden was speaking at an energy conference in Oxford when he made the comments that were reported by The Financial Times.

The Shell boss predicted "significantly" higher gas prices if Vladimir Putin continues to slow supplies to Europe and said that he couldn't rule out Russia cutting off supplies entirely.

Putin had shown he was "able and willing to weaponize energy supplies," Van Beurden said.

"I think we will be facing a really tough winter in Europe," he said. "In the worst case, we will be in a situation where we have to ration."

 "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," he added. 

Shell did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

On Monday, Russia turned off one of its main pipelines to Germany, Nord Stream 1, for scheduled maintenance.

However, many in Europe fear the worst, with some German officials saying the supply may not be turned back on after the work ends on July 21.

On Thursday, President Emmanuel Macron asked French citizens to reduce their energy usage to avoid a difficult winter, Bloomberg reported.

Macron also accused Russia of using gas exports as "a weapon of war" in a televised interview, adding that Russia could cut off its supply to France entirely. 



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