Europe’s Gas Crunch Worsens

December 21, 2021

Above, cold weather moving into Europe, will exacerbate gas demand.

See my video this month for context.


MOSCOW/FRANKFURT/LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) – European gas prices hit a new record high on Tuesday after a pipeline that brings Russian gas to Germany switched to flow east, a move the Kremlin said had no political backdrop, while two big German customerssaid Gazprom was meeting supply obligations.

Westward gas flows through the Yamal-Europe pipeline, one of the major routes for Russian gas to Europe, had been falling since Saturday and, after stopping early on Tuesday, reversed direction, data from network operator Gascade showed.

It was not immediately clear why flows were down through the pipeline, one of the major routes for Russian gas exports to Europe and which traverses Belarus. Russian gas exporter Gazprom did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

European gas prices have surged this year as demand spiked globally in the post-pandemic recovery. Russia, Europe’s key supplier, has said supplies under long-term deals were met in full, but has not added volumes for the spot market. read more 

Gazprom sends gas to Europe via a number of routes and is booking extra capacity – or volumes which come on top of firm contracts – at auctions for delivery via Ukraine and to Germany via the Yamal route.

Flows at the Mallnow metering point on the German-Polish border on Saturday fell to an hourly volume of around 1,200,000 kilowatt hours (kWh/h), from an average of 10,000,000 kWh/h on Friday and around 12,000,000 kWh/h on Thursday.

Russian gas supplies to Europe are closely tied with levels of gas in Gazprom’s storage at home. The company this week started to lift gas from its underground facilities in central Russia, with peak consumption expected in a month.

Levels of flows and their direction on the Yamal-Europe pipeline are managed according to customers’ requests. The pipeline was working in reverse mode – conveying gas from Germany to Poland – for some time last month. read more 

It reversed to bring flows via Belarus and Poland to Germany after Gazprom refilled storage at home and started to re-stock its European facilities to meet seasonal demand. read more 

Gazprom and the Kremlin deny any connection between levels of gas supplies to Europe via existing routes, and an ongoing debate over the newly-built Nord Stream 2 pipeline which is awaiting a green light from Germany to start supplies.

One Response to “Europe’s Gas Crunch Worsens”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    “Nuclear offline in France”?


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