Disruption of Russian gas supplies to Europe

This risk is featured in the full matrix, representing the averages of multiple different scenarios presented together in the ‘conventional attacks on infrastructure’ category.

Impact 5
risk indicator
ID 10
Risk theme Geographic and diplomatic
Impact & Likelihood
Impact key
5 Catastrophic
4 Significant
3 Moderate
2 Limited
1 Minor
Likelihood key
5 >25%
4 5-25%
3 1-5%
2 0.2-1%
1 <0.2%


Dependence on Russia for gas, and other energy sources, varies widely by country. For gas, the UK meets around half its needs from domestic production and in 2022 sourced less than 1 per cent of its gas from Russia, with the last reported import in March 2022. While the UK relies less on Russian energy than many other European countries, it is still exposed to disruption in European energy markets.


All transit gas that flows from Russia to European states are cut off for several weeks during winter, potentially leading to demand curtailment across Europe; however, domestic heating will be maintained. Increased gas prices may put certain energy-intensive industries at risk, but household bills are protected by the price cap. A severe gas shortage in mainland Europe for a significant period could also negatively impact continental European gas-fired electricity generation capacity, which could affect the UK’s security of energy supply in winter, impacting household electricity consumers.*

*While the key assumptions in the reasonable worst-case scenario were not met, high prices were experienced in 2022 driven by significantly reduced Russian flows and market fundamentals including bottlenecks in infrastructure in North-West Europe.

Key assumptions

The scenario assumes that the risk is materialised when storage is low and demand is high due to cold weather, and potential additional outages across the UK and European systems occur that limit trade and imports.


The severity of the risk will be determined by the weather, how much demand there is for gas and how much storage is available. How much access the UK has to liquified natural gas as an alternative to Russian gas will also impact the severity of the risk. 

Response capability requirements

Businesses and households will require additional support in the face of higher gas prices, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups who are disproportionately affected.


Sustained high prices at historic levels will impact the UK and global economy but prices are expected to eventually stabilise.