With the onset of winter, tensions over gas supplies from Russia to Europe resurface, this time focusing on the gas pipeline that runs through Poland and Belarus: the Yamal.
However, in the midst of the Russo-Western crisis surrounding Ukraine, this is only part of a larger puzzle that combines economic interests and political tensions.
Gas at all sites
The Yamal-Europe Pipeline, opened in 1994, connects the city of Dorjok in central Russia with more than 2,000 km. 30 billion cubic meters per year, which is one of the main directions of Russian gas supply to Europe.
However, since December 21, the gas pipeline has stopped its distribution from east to west. According to data from the management company Cascade, which was consulted by the AFP, the gas is being shipped to Poland from the German border, which is now operating in a different direction.
Polish companies, including Russian companies, usually buy their gas from German traders who must always abide by these agreements, even if there are no deliveries through the Yamal. So they have to resort to other sources of supply.
On the other hand, Russian gas continues to flow into Europe through other major pipelines such as the North Stream I and the Turkstream.
All this comes against the backdrop of fears of occupation of Ukraine by Russian troops. In Germany, the government is threatening to retaliate by shutting down another pipeline, Nord Stream 2, still waiting for the green light from the authorities.
Some European countries, such as Poland and Ukraine, have accused Moscow and the gas company Gazprom of cutting gas supplies to pressure the West in both cases.
Gas pipe working backwards
Opinions on the question differ. Vladimir Putin justified the suspension of Russian deliveries in the absence of new European orders and denied any desire for political instrumentation.
“The allegations against Russia and Gosprom that we supply small amounts of gas to the European market are completely baseless.”, Also said the Russian gas company. He criticized Germany for attracting its reserves to supply to Polish neighbors.
Berlin on Monday denied any involvement in its role. “It is not the government that decides the flow of gas, but the market, the traders”, As reported by the Ministry of Energy.
Considering the explosion in gas demand, it could also be Cosprom “Supports its own pipes”, In order “Increase Income” Like the Himalayas he is 100% harmful to the uncontrollable, explains George Sackman, an energy expert at Brussels Think Tank Brooklyn.
The real risk of scarcity?
“Security Guarantee of Distribution”, AFP tells the German Ministry of Energy.
But Berlin, in which a “Relatively low balance” Christoph Ponneri, president of the Association of Energy Economists (AEE), believes the gas in its tanks could soon cause “difficulties.” In Germany, tanks are only 53% full.
“If contracts are kept to a minimum there will be no problem until March”, Most “If for technical reasons or for any other reason Russia is unable or unwilling to supply gas, our supply will be limited.”, Blocking George Sockman.
These difficulties contribute to the explosion in gas prices, which are seven times higher than they were at the beginning of the year. This outbreak is particularly explained by the cold winter and the increase in activity, which is linked to the post-coronavirus economic recovery.
Moscow is suspected of using these tensions in the world market to cut supplies and raise prices, while 40% of the gas consumed in Europe comes from Russia. A review by the International Energy Agency called for the country to “do more” to supply gas to Europe in September.
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