Two and a half months after the invasion of Russian troops, Ukraine has reduced deliveries of Russian gas to Europe due to the war. No Russian gas has flowed westwards since Wednesday morning via the particularly hard-fought Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian and Russian sources.
Due to the Russian occupation, it had become impossible to control the Sochranivka point and the Novopskov compressor station, it said. The operator referred to a case of “force majeure”. Sokhranivka is part of the Soyuz pipeline, which runs from the Russian region of Orenburg to Uzhhorod in Ukraine.
According to the authorities, this has not had any major impact on Germany’s supply so far. “The gas supply in Germany is stable. Security of supply is still guaranteed,” reported the Federal Network Agency in its daily management report.
The gas volumes that arrive in Waidhaus, Bavaria, via the Ukraine have fallen by a good 25 percent compared to Tuesday as a result of the reduction in transit. “These amounts are currently being offset by higher flows, particularly from Norway and the Netherlands,” the authority said. There was also no significant increase in wholesale prices.
According to Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), Ukraine is looking for new transport routes for Russian gas to Western Europe. The failure can be compensated for, said Habeck. He assumes that this will also be the case over the summer.
“The question is, of course, what is still to come.” If a third is missing in the long run, “then of course it will be a challenge at some point”. He sees no reason to call out a further stage of the gas emergency plan.
The Federal Ministry of Economics initially held back with forecasts. A spokeswoman emphasized that the security of supply in Germany is currently guaranteed.
The filling levels of the gas storage tanks are currently also increasing. These are currently 38.6 percent full. “What happens tomorrow or in a week – that’s still unclear,” said the spokeswoman. It is not yet possible to draw any conclusions for the future from the current development, and it is also not possible to make predictions about price developments. Most of the Russian gas reaches Germany anyway via another pipeline, Nord Stream 1.
Gazprom emphasizes delivery commitments
For the westbound transit through the Soyuz pipeline, only orders from Russian energy giant Gazprom Russian energy giant Gazprom were accepted for the day, pumping gas to a station on Russian territory, GTSOU data showed Wednesday morning.
News agencies in Moscow also referred to this information. Initially, there was no official notification from the Ukrainian side confirming that the partial transit stop had actually taken place.
Russian energy giant Gazprom confirmed that less gas is going through Ukraine towards Europe. “Gazprom will deliver 72 million cubic meters of Russian gas for transit through Ukraine on May 11,” company spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov said, according to the Interfax agency. The day before, the order volume was still 95.8 million cubic meters.
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Bookings for Russian gas transit via the key Sokhranivka route to Europe fell to zero on Wednesday morning. This emerges from data from the GTSOU.
Kupriyanov said it was not technically possible to route the deliveries that were no longer made directly to the Sudscha point, which is on Russian territory near the border with Ukraine. b a compensation via completely different routes is possible, he initially left open. The Russian energy company Gazprom once again emphasized that it will fulfill all its obligations to European customers.
According to GTSOU, almost a third of the natural gas routed from Russia to Europe via Ukraine passes through Sokhranivka.
The Ukrainians indicated that the Russians recently disrupted the operation of the plants. Gazprom, on the other hand, which recently pumped almost 100 million cubic meters of gas a day through Ukraine towards Europe, said it had received “no confirmation of any force majeure circumstances”. The Ukrainians have been working “undisturbed” in Sochranivka over the past few weeks.
Russian offensive massively affects gas transit
The contractual maximum capacity for Ukrainian gas transit to Europe is 109 million cubic meters per day. However, the main route for Russian gas to Europe is the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1. According to Russian information, 60 billion cubic meters of gas per year flowed to Europe via Nord Stream 1 last year.
The spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Economics ruled out switching to the completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was not put into operation in the end. “Nord Stream 2 really died after the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, and now nobody is thinking of switching to it.”
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Two and a half months after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Moscow announced on Tuesday morning that it had penetrated to the administrative borders of Luhansk together with pro-Russian separatists.
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The head of the Ukrainian energy supplier Naftogaz, Yuriy Vitrenko, recently warned the editorial network Germany (RND) that the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to Western Europe could be endangered if Russia were to continue its attacks on the Ukrainian infrastructure.
Germany is heavily dependent on Russian gas. Demands for a gas embargo, for example, are therefore very controversial.
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According to the latest information from the Economics Ministry, Germany’s dependence on Russian gas has fallen from 55 percent to around 35 percent since the beginning of the war. According to this, a gradual reduction to ten percent of gas consumption is possible by summer 2024.
In the upcoming warmer season, Germany will consume less gas. However, the stores have to be replenished for the coming winter. A new law stipulates minimum fill quantities on certain dates: 80 percent on October 1 of a year, 90 percent on November 1 and 40 percent on February 1. (AP, Reuters)