Gazprom does not reserve more gas transit to Europe, despite assurances from the Kremlin


The Gazprom logo is pictured at the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris, France, June 2, 2015. REUTERS / Benoit Tessier / File Photo

MOSCOW, Nov. 2 (Reuters) – Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM) refused to reserve additional capacity to ship more gas to Europe in an auction on Tuesday, a move that reportedly helped lower prices on a market haunted by concerns about Moscow’s intentions.

The Kremlin said Russia remains determined to start pumping additional gas to Europe once national storage is replenished, in accordance with an order given to Gazprom last week by President Vladimir Putin.

But Gazprom has decided not to reserve additional gas transit capacity via Ukraine and Poland to Europe for January-September 2022, a sign that it does not plan to supply more than contractual volumes, at least. via these two routes.

Russia supplies a third of Europe’s gas and its supply intentions are critical at a time when spot prices across the continent have skyrocketed, hitting households and businesses.

Russia has said it is fully meeting its contractual obligations, but the International Energy Agency and some European politicians have suggested that Moscow can do more. Moscow denies using gas as a political weapon.

Gazprom did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters. He previously said additional volumes could come from the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline, with an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters (bcm), once Germany gives it the go-ahead.

“Gazprom is probably betting on bringing Nord Stream 2 online fairly soon – and does not want to take on any additional obligations at this time, as the Ukrainian transit route and the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline will likely be used as routes to balancing once Nord Stream 2 is operational. and run, ”said Dmitry Marinchenko, senior director of the rating agency Fitch.

Storage controlled by Gazprom in Europe remains at around a third of the levels seen a year ago. Putin has given the order to fill the sites from November 8, when the national resupply is expected to end – which the Kremlin has said is the plan.

Analysts at Jefferies said in a note that the question remains whether Russia will make additional volumes available only through Nord Stream 2, which still does not have regulatory approval from Germany to start operating.

Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Oksana Kobzeva, additional reporting by Dmitry Antonov, Maria Kiselyova, Maxim Rodionov, Anton Kolodyazhnyy, Anastasia Lyrchikova and Olesya Astakhova in Moscow, Nora Buli in Olso and Vera Eckert in Frankfurt Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Louise Heavens

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