Gazprom has not booked Q3 capacity via Yamal pipeline – EU energy ministers meet for emergency talks

Gazprom, the Russian gas giant, has not booked any gas transit capacity via Yamal-Europe’s Yamal-Europe pipeline in the third quarter, Interfax news agency reported Monday, citing the GSA Platform auction results.

Since December last year, the Yamal pipeline has been operating in reverse. It sends gas eastward from Poland through Germany.

Gazprom had to book its transit capacity via the pipeline from 2020 after Poland refused to extend its gas transit agreement with Russia.

It did not reserve capacity for either the second or third quarter at the previous auctions.

Gazprom stopped gas supplies to Poland, and Bulgaria last week. The Kremlin demanded that gas payments be made in roubles.

Gazprom could still reserve capacity via this route at monthly or daily auctions. The pipeline is responsible for approximately 15% of Russia’s annual gas exports from Russia to Europe and Turkey.

According to EWI, Germany should limit its gas consumption, even though Russian supplies are continuing, in order to be prepared for a possible cut-off in retaliation against Western sanctions on Moscow’s invasion.

Gazprom, Russia’s energy giant, stopped supplies to Poland and Bulgaria last Wednesday after they refused to follow a Moscow-imposed scheme that required payments in roubles. This raised concerns about Germany being also vulnerable.

Eren Cam, Head of Energy Resources at Cologne’s EWI, stated that “Gas Demand should be Reduced immediately over the Summer Months.” He recommended proactive measures to increase supply security.

Uniper, the German utility that supplies Russian gas to major customers, stated that Russia could be impacted by an EU embargo on Russian oil.

Monday’s emergency meeting of EU energy ministers will see them discuss whether payments to Russia through a mechanism that converts euros into roubles is a violation of sanctions.

The EU imported 38% from Russia in 2021 for its gas-to-power generation, manufacturing and home heating needs.

EWI stated that if Moscow stopped gas, the EU region, Britain, and Iberia (excluding Cyprus, Malta, and Iberia) would have to reduce demand by 459 Terawatt-hours in the summer. Within one year, it would have no storage facilities.

EWI accounted for the expected impact of increased pipeline gas imports from Norway as well as increased liquefied natural gases (LNG) delivery in Germany and the Netherlands.

It stated that if the goal is to maintain gas reserves at 33% for the next 12 months, then the required reduction in demand would be 790 TWh.

This level represented 18% of total demand between November-April, with EWI pegged at 4,446 MWh. It all depends on how cold winter will be.

Germany has the largest underground storage capacity in Europe and has approved a law that will ensure that underground caverns reach 80% by October 1, when the winter season begins.

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