Russian pipeline gas supply to the EU jumped by 41% last month on an annual basis, amounting to 2.52 billion cubic meters (bcm), the newspaper Vedomosti reported on Wednesday.
According to the newspaper’s analysis of Gazprom data, gas transit via Ukraine to EU countries and Moldova (since Gazprom does not provide separate data for Moldova) totaled 1.29 bcm in January. The figure is a 32% increase over what was pumped through Ukraine in January 2023. The remaining volumes were transited via the TurkStream pipeline.
The transit line through Ukraine and the European arm of TurkStream are now the only two remaining conduits for piped Russian gas to reach Central and Western Europe. The current five-year transit contract between Russia and Ukraine is set to expire at the end of this year. Under the deal, Russian energy giant Gazprom agreed to deliver 65 bcm of gas to the EU through Ukraine in 2020, and 40 bcm annually between 2021 and 2024.
However, actual delivery volumes have been running short of the agreed amount after in May 2022 Ukraine closed the key pumping station at Sokhranovka, which had handled about a third of the Russian gas flowing through the country. Currently, only the station at Sudzha remains in operation.
EU dips further into emergency gas reserves
Meanwhile, analysts told Vedomosti that among the factors causing the significant increase in Russian pipeline gas imports by the EU was the cold weather in the region. This has forced member states to ramp up extraction from underground gas storage facilities by 1.9 times. The association Gas Infrastructure Europe reported earlier that EU consumers had used more than 30% of the gas in underground storage in the last three months.
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