Russia-Poland Gas Pipeline Capacity Booked 90%

Gas exporters have booked almost 90% of the capacity of the Yamal-Europe pipeline’s Polish section in the period from Oct. 1 this year and Sept. 30 2021, data showed on Monday, suggesting Russia will continue to pump gas to Europe via the link, Reuters reported.

A gas transit deal between Russia and Poland dating back to the 1990s expired on May 17 as Warsaw aligned its energy regulations with European Union rules and moved to curb its decades-old dependence on Russian fuel.

Since then Poland’s gas grid operator has started selling capacity on the Yamal pipeline that carries Russian gas from the northern Yamal peninsula to Poland and on to Germany via auctions.

The auction results in May showed that about 92% of capacity has been booked for June and roughly 80% for the quarter starting on July 1.

In May, when capacity was available in partial-day or daily auctions, the flows via the pipeline fell significantly.

“Almost 90% of the capacity at the Yamal pipeline was booked for the year between Oct. 1 2020 and Sept. 30 2021, almost everything that was available,” said a spokeswoman at Poland’s gas grid operator Gaz-System.

She declined to reveal names of companies that booked capacity.

A Polish official responsible for energy infrastructure said in May that he expected Gazprom to continue gas transit via Poland, considering potential delays in the Nord Stream 2 undersea pipeline expected early next year.

Russian gas giant Gazprom did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

The end of the transit deal in May had no impact on Russian gas supplies to Poland, which are based on a separate contract.

The Yamal pipeline has annual capacity of 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) in Poland.