According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russia’s Gazprom has curtailed gas pumping to Europe’s underground gas storage facilities, citing data from Gas Infrastructure Europe (ING). Simultaneously, Gazprom has delayed reserving additional capacity for gas shipments via Poland and Ukraine. A lot of analysts feel that this is how the Russian firm is emphasizing to Europeans the significance of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
The situation in the European Union is exacerbated by disruptions in liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies. The present amount of LNG supply to Europe, for instance, is 20% lower than last year. The reason for this is because most of the available LNG is drawn to Asia, where prices are higher. With the lowest gas supplies since 2015, Europe faces the possibility of approaching the winter with empty storage facilities, which would drive up prices, according to ING analysts.
Meanwhile, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is nearing completion, and some analysts believe that the decrease in gas pumping is connected to the Nord Stream 2 launch. “If this is correct, the timing is excellent, since Europe does not have enough time to obtain the necessary amount of gas to get through the winter comfortably. Russian gas supplies are expected to increase as soon as the new gas pipeline is operational. Furthermore, Europe will no longer be in doubt about whether the pipeline is necessary to maintain its energy security “, Artem Deyev, Chief of AMarkets Analytics Department, made the observation.
In terms of LNG purchases, the European Union’s market is losing ground to Southeast Asian nations, according to Humanity project spokesperson Andrei Loboda. Gas costs in Asia are presently 15-20% higher than in Europe, making it a more appealing market, he claims. Only the commencement of commercial gas deliveries via Nord Stream 2 can now assist secure the EU’s energy security, according to the expert.