Yamal gas pipeline: Did the Russians turn the natural gas tap to the west? Gazprom is silent

Gas supplies from Russia are being closely monitored in a situation where the prices of this raw material in Europe have risen sharply. According to NET4GAS, which provides international gas transportation to the Czech Republic, supply disruptions will have very little impact on the country.

“The interruption of supplies through the Jamal gas pipeline should have only a very small impact on gas flows to the Czech Republic, as the Czech Republic takes gas mainly from other transmission routes. Therefore, we do not currently expect a reduction in entry volumes to the Czech Republic, “NET4GAS spokesman Vojtech Meravy said today in response to information about Jamal.

The Jamal gas pipeline runs through Poland. According to a spokesman for the Polish state gas company PGNiG is the amount of gas significantly lower than usual, but Poland still receives the contracted amount.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) and some MEPs accuse Gazprom of not doing enough to increase supplies to Europe. However, the Russian gas giant claims that it always complies with its contractual obligations, which is also confirmed by its customers in southern and western Europe. They did not order any additional gas supplies from Gazprom at the time of the highest price increase, an October survey by Reuters showed.

The Jamal gas pipeline brings Russian gas through Belarusian and Polish territories to Germany. Its capacity is up to 33 billion cubic meters per year. Last year, the agreement between Russia and Poland on the transit of raw materials expired, but Gazprom can order transmission capacity at auctions.

The flow at the measuring station in the German village of Mallnow on the Polish border stopped early this morning, showed Gascade data. A Gazprom spokesman later said that fluctuations in demand for Russian gas depended on the current needs of buyers.

The price of natural gas for the European market rose sharply at the beginning of October, in two days by almost 60 percent over 160 euros (then 4070 CZK) per megawatt hour (MWh). Then it started to decrease, but it is still very high compared to last year.

The contract for the supply of gas in December on Friday afternoon was around 66.10 euros (1695 CZK) per MWh, data show for the virtual trading node Title Transfer Facility (TTF) in the Netherlands, which is decisive for prices on the European market. A year ago, the price was around 15 euros (382 CZK) per MWh.

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In response to the sharp rise in gas prices, several suppliers have already ceased operations, in the Czech Republic for example, Bohemia Energywhich had almost a million customers. In Britain, several distribution companies went bankrupt, and companies in Germany also have problems.

In response to the current rapid rise in energy prices, the European Commission (EC) announced this week that it will examine the benefits and risks of joint gas purchases, which is supported by some 27 countries. The EU could buy and store gas for later use at a time of low prices. At present, however, there is no consensus among EU countries on how to deal with high energy prices.

If the Jamal were to be pressured by the Kremlin, the price of gas would rise by tens of percent and other energy supply companies in the Czech Republic would go bankrupt, said Lukáš Kovanda, chief economist at Trinity Bank. “Unless it is a short-term one, such as a technical one, which will be resolved in a matter of hours, the situation will result in a sharp rise in wholesale gas prices in the EU when the relevant exchanges open on Monday. The supply disruption comes at the most inopportune time when gas traders are waiting to see if (Russian President) Vladimir Putin’s promise that Russia will supply more gas to Europe is again not just in vain, “Kovanda added.

The Czech government has chosen the temporary introduction of zero value added tax (VAT) for November and December as an immediate solution to rising electricity and gas prices., which is contrary to EU rules. Minister of Industry Karel Havlíček hopes that, given the difficult situation, Brussels will have an understanding of this step and will not start proceedings with the Czech Republic, or that Prague is ready to adjust the proposal for reduced VAT.

In the middle of this week, gas and electricity prices in Europe began to fall. Russian president Vladimir Putin namely, he ordered Gazprom to start pumping gas into European storage tanks as soon as it filled the storage tanks in Russia. According to Gazprom chief Alexei Miller, this could be after the first week of November.

Source: Blesk.cz by www.blesk.cz.

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