French gas grid will likely be in balance this winter, says operator

France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne attends a presentation by GRTGaz at Bois- Colombes, north-west of Paris, France June 23, 2022. Yoan Valat/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS, Sept 14 (Reuters) - France's gas grid, under the operator's baseline scenario, will be in balance and would not have shortages this winter, albeit with tight margins, GRTgaz said at a news conference on Wednesday.

GRTgaz, which held a news conference on winter supply, also said the country's gas storage supplies were filled at 94% and will reach close to 100% by the start of winter.

France's gas infrastructure, mainly supplied by Engie (ENGIE.PA), is less exposed to Russian gas exports than most of its European neighbours, but the country should still reduce its energy consumption, GRTgaz said.

Inflows from Germany currently stand at zero, said Thierry Trouve, GRTgaz's chief executive, adding that the operator was currently working on reversing flows at the border to help Germany cope.

Should there be an unusually cold winter, there could be a deficit of up to 16 terrawatt hours, which would be 5% of the country's overall gas requirements.

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Reporting by Benjamin Mallet, writing by Tassilo Hummel, editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Louise Heavens

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