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Gazprom’s gas deliveries to Europe dropped by 41.1 percent in the first fifteen days of January compared to the same period last year, the Russian gas giant said on Monday, in what Bloomberg estimates was the lowest daily export level since 2015.
Gazprom’s natural gas exports to countries other than those in the former Soviet Union amounted to 5.4 billion cubic meters between January 1 and 15, down by 41.1 percent compared to the same period of 2021, the Russian gas monopoly said in an operations update.
These volumes, Bloomberg has estimated, are equal to daily flows that are the lowest since 2015 and 18 percent lower than the average gas supply to Europe in December.
At the same time, Gazprom ramped up its domestic supplies from the gas transmission system by 3.7 percent and increased its production by 2.1 percent compared to the first fifteen days of January 2021, the company said.
The figures are being announced while politicians and officials in the European Union and even the International Energy Agency (IEA) say that Russia can, but does not want to, raise its gas deliveries to Europe.
Low Russian supply and cold weather have been the two main drivers of rising gas prices in Europe in recent weeks when Russia’s deliveries via Poland and Ukraine have been lower than historical norms.
Low natural gas deliveries from Russia appear to have artificially tightened the European gas market, the International Energy Agency’s Executive Director Fatih Birol said last week, adding that energy systems “face significant risks” by relying too much on one supplier for a key energy source.
“We see strong elements of ‘artificial tightness’ in European gas markets, which appears to be due to the behaviour of Russia’s state-controlled gas supplier,” Birol wrote in a LinkedIn post.
Meanwhile, the EU’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said last Thursday that she was “eagerly awaiting” Gazprom’s response to EU questions about insufficient deliveries.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.