Gazprom has not booked any additional capacity for next month on the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Germany, according to monthly auction results released on Monday, suggesting that Russia does not intend to raise natural gas supplies to Europe.
Data from Europe’s gas transit booking platforms RBP and GSA Platform shows that Russia's energy giant did not secure any capacities with the Polish leg of the pipeline for April.
The decision appears to show that Gazprom will continue using the route as and when necessary, booking extra capacities at single-price daily auctions, Neftegaz.ru portal explained. The industry resource added that Gazprom only uses the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, which runs across Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, as an extra route to balance deliveries. The long-term contract to use this pipeline expired in May 2020 and was not extended.
The main pipeline delivering Russian gas to European consumers is Nord Stream, which runs along the Baltic Sea bed to Germany. Another route is via Ukraine’s gas transit system. However, an auction of extra capacities through Ukraine’s gas transit system was canceled on Monday, as no such capacity was offered by Ukraine.
According to energy news site Oilprice.com, Gazprom not booking any space for April on the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline suggests that Russia has no intention to raise its natural gas supply to Europe.
The Russian energy giant has been blamed for artificially tightening European gas market by reducing its natural gas exports to the continent at the beginning of this year, compared to the same period in 2021.
Gazprom has insisted that it is not to blame for the soaring prices of natural gas, as it fulfils its long-term contract obligations, adding that it has not received requests for additional volumes above contractual thresholds.
Gazprom’s figures show that its gas deliveries to Europe in the first two weeks of March were at the highest level since last August.
Europe receives 40% of natural gas it needs from Russia but is now seeking to reduce its dependency by sourcing imports from other countries and scaling up renewables. The EU plans to slash demand for Russian imports by two-thirds this year and completely eliminate its dependence on Russian gas before 2030.
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