France can provide Germany some of its gas in case of shortage: Sources

France could provide Germany 20 terawatt hours of gas, or 2 percent of German consumption, during winter months if needed in the context of the conflict in Ukraine, French energy ministry officials said on Wednesday.

A standoff between Europe and Moscow since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February has exposed the bloc’s reliance on Russian gas and sparked a frantic search for alternative energy sources.

Germany, Europe’s top economy and its largest importer of Russian gas, has been particularly hit by supply cuts since mid-June and is preparing for all scenarios including a complete stop to Russian gas supplies.

“130 gigawatt hours per day is the amount we could supply to Germany. Per winter, that could mean around 20 terawatt hours - that is to say 5 percent of our own consumption,” one of the officials said.

However, supplying French gas to Germany would require a number of technical steps and could take some time given different regulations in the two countries, the officials said.

The main issue is that France adds odorants to its gas for safety reasons, while Germany does not, they said, adding that it could take up to 18 months to set up a deodorization plant to remove odorants from gas flows.