France is surveying its largest consumers of natural gas to assess which of them would have to suspend normal operations if deliveries of the fuel from Russia are cut. The plan was outlined in a decree published on Friday by the government gazette JORF.
The document says the French gas network operator GRTgaz will collect data from the nation’s largest consumers so that the government could decide which of them could be put on pause with the least economic damage. Only entities with annual consumption of at least 5 gigawatt hours are being considered for the chopping block.
The survey, which gas consumers must participate in under the threat of being fined, is meant for a scenario in which the supply of Russian gas to France is disrupted. If shortages over the summer leave the country unprepared for the cold season, rationing may be necessary next winter.
GRTgaz has said that Russian gas accounts for 17% of the national mix. The network operator stressed that no disruptions have happened so far but that concerns remain, considering the hostilities in Ukraine and the heavy load of liquified natural gas terminals used for seaborne deliveries to Europe.