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Russia has said it’s willing to resume natural gas supplies to Europe through the Yamal-Europe Pipeline. The Yamal-Europe Pipeline usually flows westward but has been mostly reversed after Poland turned away from buying from Russia in favor of drawing on stored gas in Germany.
"The European market remains relevant, as the gas shortage persists, and we have every opportunity to resume supplies. For example, the Yamal-Europe Pipeline, which was stopped for political reasons, remains unused" TASS has cited Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak as saying.
Previously, state-owned gas producer Gazprom revealed that it expected to pump 43 million cubic meters of gas per day to Europe via Ukraine through Sudzha. Unfortunately, the pipeline blew up during planned maintenance work near the village of Kalinino, about 150 km (90 miles) west of the Volga city of Kazan.
To put the size of the pipeline in context, its run rate is a tiny portion of the 155 billion cubic meters of natural gas that Europe imported from Russia in 2021. Europe has managed to stockpile huge volumes of natural gas for the winter season, so much so that prices have tumbled sharply in recent months.
Whereas supplies of Russian pipeline gas - the bulk of Europe’s gas imports before the Ukraine war - are down to a trickle, Europe has been hungrily scooping up Russian LNG in the meantime. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the bloc’s imports of Russian liquefied natural gas jumped by 41% Y/Y. Novak has revealed that in the 11 months of 2022, Russian LNG exports to Europe increased to 19.4 bcm, with the figure expected to hit 21 bcm by year-end.
“Russian LNG has been the dark horse of the sanctions regime,” Maria Shagina, research fellow at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, told WSJ. Importers of Russian LNG to Europe have argued that the shipments are not covered by current EU sanctions and that buying LNG from Russia and other suppliers has helped keep European energy prices in check.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com