Russian Gazprom has no plans to export gas to Europe in February? – OpEd – Eurasia Review


Reportedly, Russian energy giant Gazprom said it had reserved no capacity to pump gas to Europe through the Yamal pipeline in February, pointing to a sharp drop in Russian exports to the region so far. now this year.

Gazprom said Russian gas exports via pipeline fell 41% from a year ago in January, underscoring the impact of a reversal of the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which typically pumps Russian gas to the Europe, from Germany to Poland. Data from German network operator Gascade showed it happening on Monday for the 28th day in a row.

Although the Kremlin-controlled group has not reserved any capacity through the pipeline for February, that could change as it is able to participate in daily auctions.

The link has been operating in reverse mode since December 2021, helping to push up gas prices, although these fell on Monday thanks to strong liquefied natural gas (LNG) volumes and higher wind generation.

Russian commodity exports have been in the spotlight in recent months amid a broader standoff with the West over Ukraine. Moscow has started talks with the United States and NATO in a bid to prevent Ukraine from joining the bloc.

Russia has also been accused by some politicians and pundits of deliberately withholding gas exports in order to gain German and European Union permission for its Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, built to bypass Ukraine.

Russia denies any attack plan against Ukraine and says it meets all contractual obligations on gas exports.

It is unclear when the Yanal-Europe pipeline will return to normal. A source close to Gazprom said the Kremlin-controlled company is expected to switch feeds at some point this month as Gazprom has paid for volumes westbound for January.

High gas prices are a major problem for European governments, utilities and consumers, with some businesses forced out of business by rapidly rising costs last year.

The Yamal-Europe pipeline typically accounts for about one-sixth of Russia’s annual gas exports to Europe and Turkey.

Gazprom has not reserved any gas transit capacity for February via road, according to the results of monthly auctions. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak reiterated on Saturday that Russia is ready to supply more gas to Europe, but only if there are new long-term contracts.

Capacity nominations for Russian gas flows from Ukraine to Slovakia via the Velke Kapusany border point, another major route to Europe, stood at 286,970 megawatt hours (MWh) on Monday.

That was stable compared to nominations seen so far in 2022, but well below levels of more than 900,000 MWh recorded in early December last year, according to data from Slovakian pipeline operator Eustream. .

Gazprom has not reserved gas transit capacity for exports for February via two other crossing points to Ukraine, although some 11.14 million m3/day of capacity via Velke Kapusany has been reserved for gas Russian for next month.

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