Gazprom: we are not withholding gas from Europe

Russian gas giant Gazprom rejects speculation and accusations that it is not delivering enough natural gas by pipeline to Europe, a senior Gazprom Export official said.

So far in 2021, Gazprom’s gas deliveries to Europe have reached historic highs, wrote Sergey Komlev, chief contract and pricing structuring director at Gazprom Export, in an article for the magazine. company Gazprom, published by the Russian news agency TASS.

Germany, Turkey and Italy, which are among Gazprom’s biggest customers, all boosted Russian gas imports in the first half of 2021, the official said.

Gazprom’s exports to European countries rose 23.2 percent between January and July, Komlev added.

“These figures prove the absurdity of accusing Gazprom of a shortage of supplies,” noted the executive.

Europe grapples with soaring natural gas and electricity prices ahead of the winter heating season due to tight gas supplies, very low gas stocks and low wind power production in calm weather.

More than 40 members of the European Parliament from all political groups have reportedly urged the European Commission to open an investigation into Gazprom for alleged market manipulation that could have contributed to record natural gas prices in Europe.

During the summer, despite the strong rebound in European demand for natural gas and soaring prices, Gazprom did not reserve additional entry capacity into Europe via Ukraine.

Analysts say it could have been an opportunistic move by the Russian giant to push gas prices in Europe even higher and take advantage of the very high prices. Other analysts believe that the effective reduction in supplies to Gazprom would force Europe to recognize that gas customers on the continent need the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany bypassing Ukraine.

Earlier this month, Gazprom said it had completed construction of Nord Stream 2, although gas flows on the Russia-led pipeline cannot begin until Germany grants an operating license. for the project.

Germany’s federal network regulator, BNA, said last week that it would decide by January 8, 2022 whether it will certify Nord Stream 2 and issue an operating license for the pipeline.

By Charles Kennedy for Oil chauffage

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