The EU accuses Russia, which supplies over 40% of the EU’s natural gas, of using its gas resources to put pressure on Russia to approve the use of the new gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.
Gas prices in Europe jumped more than 30% yesterday (Tuesday), against the background of low supplies from Russia, which rekindled fears of an energy crisis in the cold season.
The Yamal gas pipeline, which usually supplies gas from Siberia to Europe, continued, for the 15th day in a row, to send the gas east from Germany to Poland. The Reuters news agency reported that the gas supply from Russia to Slovakia was also lower than usual.
The EU accuses Russia of using its gas resources to apply pressure to approve the use of the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline (a gas pipeline between Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea). Russia supplies over 40% of the EU’s natural gas.
Russia has denied the allegations, claiming that they are meeting their contractual obligations regarding gas supplies. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin even accused Germany of selling Russian gas back to Poland and Ukraine instead of taking action to lower prices, thus accusing German gas importers of changing the direction of gas flow and rising prices. The German government declined to comment.
Data collected at the Mallnow measuring point on the German-Polish border showed that the gas flow was widened to the east, with a volume of about 9.9 million kilowatts per hour, an increase from 5.8 million. Accordingly, the Dutch benchmark index for gas prices rose by 23.20 euros to 95.20 euros per megawatt per hour.
Forecasts for lower temperatures in Europe added upward pressure on prices. Europe has been at the heart of the energy crisis since last year, as after the removal of most of the corona restrictions, the demand for natural gas has risen significantly. Prices have more than quadrupled since January 2021 and threaten the region’s economic recovery.
Meanwhile, the member states of the OPEC cartel and Russia have agreed to move forward with plans to increase oil production. A decision indicating that they believe the Omicron strain will have only a short-term effect on global growth. According to the decision, output will rise in February by 400,000 barrels per day.