Daily gas flow from Russia to Europe at 4-year low

ANKARA:

The flow of natural gas from Moscow to Europe has fallen to the lowest levels in four years, below 100 million cubic meters since the beginning of July, against quantities ranging from 400 to 500 million cubic meters per day.

According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Ukrainian transmission system operator, Europe imported 155 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia, which corresponds to around 40% of consumption of natural gas from the continent last year.

Russia, which sends natural gas to Europe via Ukraine, also transports natural gas to Europe and Turkey using the TurkStream, Nord Stream 1, Yamal and Blue Stream gas pipelines.

However, since the start of the war with Ukraine, its exports to Europe have fallen significantly from highs reached in October 2019 of more than 500 million cubic meters, IEA data confirms.

From February 24 of this year, with the start of Russian attacks in Ukraine, the reduction of throughput passing through Ukraine and the cessation of transport from the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, the decline accelerated and fell to 200 million cubic meters at the end. of May.

This flow fell further to 100 million cubic meters in early July, marking an 80% drop from the record high of 500 million cubic meters.

The reduction in capacity of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline has been decisive in the drop in gas flows. Russian Gazprom had warned on June 15 against reducing shipments through the pipeline, citing the non-return of technical equipment needed for maintenance from the German company Siemens.

The pipeline, which can transport 160 million cubic meters of gas per day, only transmits 65 million cubic meters of natural gas per day from July 21.

Europe continues its plan to wean off Russian gas supplies

With Europe heavily dependent on Russian energy, the EU accelerated its efforts to diversify its supplies and sought alternatives by buying liquefied natural gas (LNG) and filling natural gas storage tanks when needed. possible from the current occupancy rate of 64%.

To this end, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the EU and Baku for more gas purchases from Azerbaijan to alleviate shortages during the winter season.

However, despite having nine LNG import terminals in Europe, the UK and Turkey, Germany, one of the largest importers of Russian gas, is unable to benefit from these facilities because it only imports gas by pipeline.

Spain’s highest LNG import capacity of around 70 billion cubic meters has a limited gas transmission link to other European countries, notably France, which has no connection preventing the transmission to other neighboring countries.

Although Germany has access to LNG terminals in the Netherlands, it is insufficient for the country’s demand.

During former US President Donald Trump’s tenure, the construction of an LNG import terminal was pushed forward by US pressure on Germany, but the process was put on hold for financial reasons. After the war between Moscow and Kyiv, the issue resurfaced and Germany finally agreed to build LNG terminals.

To alleviate shortages, the EU has demanded that all member countries reduce their gas consumption by 15% as part of the contingency plan it has prepared against the possibility of an interruption in the flow of natural gas from from Russia on July 20.

However, Spain was the first to respond to this with a statement by Spanish Environment Minister Teresa Ribera, who said that “no matter what happens, gas and electricity for Spanish families will not be not cut. Whatever happens, Spain will defend the position of Spanish industry.

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