Natural gas prices rose today after the Russian state company Gazprom announced that it would no longer send that fuel to Europe through the gas pipeline in Poland due to the sanctions that Moscow imposed on European energy companies.
This week’s energy tensions between Russia and the West have further stirred unstable energy markets, and the price of natural gas today reached 104 euros per megawatt-hour, while a few days ago it was 94 euros.
Gazprom announced yesterday that it will ban the use of the Yamal gas pipeline, through which gas reaches Germany via Poland. Gazprom has previously suspended gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria because they rejected Moscow’s request to pay for the fuel in rubles.
It is feared that gas disputes and supply disruptions will continue to escalate due to the war in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, the Ukrainian operator closed the gas pipeline that brings gas from Russia to Europe, stating that Russian forces are interfering with the operation of the compressor station on the part of the Ukrainian territory controlled by Moscow and redirecting gas.
Energy tensions rose further on Wednesday when Russia imposed sanctions on the German branch of Gazprom, over which the government in Berlin took control in April. German Vice Chancellor Robert Habek said that the loss of Russian gas could be compensated from other sources.
All these moves have negatively affected energy markets.
European service companies and governments have made enough progress to cover gas needs during the year without Russian supplies, but will face difficulties during the winter. High natural gas prices have increased heating and electricity bills.
Governments in Europe are trying to get rid of dependence on Russian energy, and the European Commission has proposed measures to reduce their imports by two thirds by the end of the year. It is unknown at this time whether this is possible.
Prior to the Russian attack on Ukraine on February 24, Europe received 40 percent of natural gas and 25 percent of oil from Russia.