Russia has not materially increased natural gas supply via its pipelines to Europe, despite assurances from Russian President Vladimir Putin that Gazprom would start sending more gas after it completes filling Russian storage.
In November, Russian gas supply to Europe was volatile, as gas flows on the Yamal-Europe pipeline via Belarus to Poland and Germany were low or non-existent on some days, and at times reversed to flow eastward from Poland.
The uncertainty over how much additional volumes Gazprom would ship on top of its contractual obligations has kept European benchmark gas prices volatile over the past month.
The market was expecting increased Russian flows on November 8, the date which Putin had given for Gazprom to potentially increase supplies after filling up Russia’s storage. When higher flows from Russia failed to materialize on that date, natural gas prices in Europe spiked.
Gazprom has not booked materially higher extra capacity to Germany and Ukraine either. The company says that it continues to fulfill all contractual obligations, and earlier this week, it said that its exports to Europe rose by 6.6 percent between January and November.
While the European market was wary of volatile day-to-day supply from existing Russian pipelines, the Federal Network Agency of Germany, Bundesnetzagentur, suspended on November 16 the procedure to certify Nord Stream 2 AG as an independent transmission operator until an operator of the pipeline in Germany is incorporated under German law.
Russia’s inconsistency in booking extra capacity on pipelines to Europe and the volatile supply over pipelines in recent weeks could continue for months, as it is likely linked to the Nord Stream 2 approval, Poland’s Climate and Environment Minister, Anna Moskwa, told Bloomberg in an interview this week.
“Until the issue of Nord Stream 2 is finalized, we cannot be sure of Gazprom’s behavior,” the minister said. “We’re convinced this is a mechanism linked to the certification process. And the certification process will still take some time,” she added.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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For the EU countries to receive major gas supplies from Russia before the onset of winter, they have to do two things. The first is to sign long-term contracts and the second is to certify Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline which is supposed to bring 50 billion cubic metres of additional Russian gas supplies under the Baltic Sea to Germany and the EU.
So a quid pro quo of certification of Nord Stream 2 for further Russian gas shipments is the only logical and practical answer otherwise the EU nations will feel the harsh cold this winter amid gas supply shortages. Neither Qatari and American LNG shipments nor Norway gas shipments could satisfy the EU’s demand. Only Russia can.
Moreover, Gazprom isn’t going to increase its gas shipments to the EU via Ukraine given the escalation of tension with Russia.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
to europe and 36 LNG terminals in europe for gas from whole world like quatar, iran & israel also new aserbaidjan pipeline open much gas in future awaited from.south europe italy, spain, greece etc. in mediterian sea and fracking.gas possible in FRG, england and france only long political blocked.