European gas supplies could face a deficit of 30 billion cubic metres next summer if Russia halts pipeline exports and China reverts to its usual level of demand for liquefied natural gas, according to estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The supply-demand gap could come at a crucial time to replenish inventories due to seasonally low gas demand in summer months, prior to the northern hemisphere heating season of 2023-2024.

While gas inventories across Europe are now running close to 95% full, which is above the five-year historic average, the agency calculated that a combination of factors further reducing supply from Russia, coupled with a resurgence of demand in China, could wipe out the supply buffer in Europe as early as its next summer.