Beginning Saturday, July 31, Russian gas giant Gazprom reduced supply of gas to underground storage facilities in Europe, reports Interfax with reference to the data of the website Gas Infrastructure Europe.
The most used storage facilities in Europe, Haidach in Austria, Rehden in Germany and Bergermeer in the Netherlands, will receive less gas from Gazprom. Usually, gas supply increases over the weekend, because industrial demand subsides and unclaimed volume can be sent to storage facilities.
At the same time, Gazprom gas supplies to Europe through the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, which passes through Belarus and Poland to Germany, have decreased, according to the data of the German gas transit operator Gascade. The volume dropped from 84 million cubic meters in the previous few days to 50 million cubic meters on Saturday and 60 million cubic meters on Sunday.
Last winter in Europe was cold, and almost 61 billion cubic meters of gas were used out of underground storage facilities. The need to replenish the depleted gas reserves before winter contributed to the shortage of liquefied gas on the world market. Because of this, prices in the European market have already exceeded a record $500 per thousand cubic meters.
Despite the gas shortage in Europe, Gazprom refuses to reserve additional transit capacity through the Ukrainian gas transit system.
Ukraine calls Gazprom's actions "racketeering". The Ukrainian Energy Minister, German Galushchenko, said that the rise in gas prices in Europe is due to a premediated actions by Russia. According to Galushchenko, Russia wants to force the European Union to complete the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.