“With gas reserves at almost 90%, Europe will survive the coming winter with little difficulty, if there are no political or technical surprises,” he said, according to Reuters.

He added that the "real problems" could start in February or March when the storage facilities are empty due to high demand.

“This winter will be difficult, but next winter can also be very difficult,” said Birol.

As Gazprom noted, stocks close to the maximum in EU UGSFs do not guarantee a reliable passage of winter.