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Russia’s Arctic Yamal Trade Pet has declared force majeure on some liquefied natural gas cargoes contracted to a former Gazprom trading unit in Europe in accordance with the Kremlin’s new sanctions, Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed sources.
According to Bloomberg sources, the sanctions only affect some shipments to Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd (GM&T), the trading unit of Gazprom Germania GmbH, which was expropriated by the German government recently.
GM&T has a 20-year contract with Russia’s Yamal LNG for 2.9 million tons of LNG per annum. Yamal LNG, which supplies LNG from the Arctic, is majority owned by Russian Novatek, while French TotalEnergies SE and CNPC (China National Petroleum Company) have minority stakes.
The partial force majeure comes amid an intensifying battle between Europe and Russia over energy weaponization.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Russian gas giant Gazprom is now paying Ukraine lower gas transit fees for June gas going to Europe via Ukraine.
In a Tuesday interview with Greek media, the CEO of Ukrainian Naftogaz, Yuriy Vitrenko, said Gazprom closed the valve on the Soyuz main gas pipeline in Russia on May 11th, purposefully interrupting the flow of natural gas from Ukraine.
Closing that valve, according to Vitrenko, could cut off one-third of gas supply from Ukraine to Europe.
Naftogaz suggests that the closing of the gas valve in Russia was the Kremlin’s response to Ukraine’s May 10th declaration of force majeure on gas transmission through Ukraine’s Sokhranivka gas metering station and the Novopskov border compressor station, through which one-third of total gas transit flows.
Vitrenko has accused Russia of using gas transit sabotage to raise gas prices to Europe amid the ongoing Russian occupation of Ukraine and in retaliation for Western military aid to Kyiv and attempts to impose an embargo on Russian oil.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com