Gas Prices surge in Europe again, is Russia's Gas Pipeline Related?
A Russian news agency reports that amid an energy crisis in Europe, one of the largest natural gas pipelines in Russia has begun to draw gas from Western Europe towards the east.
On Monday, gas prices in Europe rose by nearly 11% after direct Russian gas flow to Germany through the Yamal-Europe pipeline stopped.
The price of gas futures contracts for December at the TTF center in the Netherlands rose at the opening of trading by 11% and reached $861 per thousand cubic meters.
According to the Russian TASS news agency, gas pumping through the Yamal-Europe pipeline ended last Saturday.
European consumers’ applications for supplies of Russian gas are being fulfilled in full, Russia’s energy giant Gazprom said in a statement amid reports that pumping via the Yamal-Europe pipeline had been stopped:https://t.co/GrOTQb8Tkr pic.twitter.com/vbwU44gvc5— TASS (@tassagency_en) October 30, 2021
The gas pipeline Yamal-Europe crosses the territories of 4 countries: Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany. The pipeline design capacity is 32.9 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Russian news agency TASS cited a German-based energy company, Gascade, explaining that the flows stopped and were slightly reversed in the Yamal-Europe pipeline, sending gas eastward from Germany to Poland.
The New York Times (NYT) discussed the gas crisis in Europe, noting Russian media's revelation that "Natural gas, already in short supply in Europe this fall, began moving away from Germany on Saturday and back toward the east in an unusual reversal in a major Russian pipeline.”
The publication added that the Russian reports were not a cause for concern, as "the Russian reports were no cause for alarm, and the giant Russian energy firm, Gazprom, said Saturday that it is filling all European orders. The NYT continues citing a Russian news media report even suggesting the flow reversal was a short-term problem caused by 'balmy weather' in Germany over the weekend.
IMPORTANT!!!— Aura Sabadus (@ASabadus) November 1, 2021
#Russian gas flows to #Romania and #Serbia transiting #Bulgaria were stopped following a (reported) blast on the pipeline near Nova Provadia (possibly the new Balkan Stream) early on Monday morning. Flows to RO have been partially restored but not to Serbia.
According to NYT, “the reversal is playing out against a backdrop of a politically charged explosion in gas prices in Europe and accusations that the Kremlin is restricting gas supplies for political purposes,” noting that “one such purpose is to prod the E.U. into approving a new pipeline, Nordstream 2, that would bring gas from Russia directly to Germany, bypassing Eastern Europe."
On a larger scale, analysts say the Kremlin might be sending a message about renewable energy, explaining that a "too quick a pivot away from natural gas will leave the Continent vulnerable to fickle wind and solar supplies," the NYT concluded.