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Russian gas flows to Europe are falling, hindering the offer to fill up shops

A train moves past the oil tanks of the NNK-Primornefteproduct petroleum depot in the eastern port of Vladivostok, Russia on June 11, 2022. REUTERS / Tatiana Meel

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  • Nord Stream 1 pipeline capacity down to 40%
  • Europe’s gas price jumps up to 30% after disturbance news
  • Gazprom owes cuts to equipment delays from Canada
  • Freeport LNG terminal in the US offline until September

LONDON, June 16 (Reuters) – Russia’s gas supply to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline fell further on Thursday, and Moscow said more delays in repairs could lead to a halt to all flows, putting a brake on Europe’s race to fill up the gas storage facilities.

Shaky currents come when the leaders of Germany, Italy and France visit Ukraine, which is pushing for faster arms deliveries to fight against invading Russian forces and wants support for Kyiv’s attempts to join the EU. read more

Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom said it was reducing gas supplies for the second time in as many days via Nord Stream 1, which runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany. The latest move cuts supply to just 40% of the pipeline’s capacity.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said reductions in supply were not deliberate and related to maintenance problems, a reference to previous comments that Russia was unable to secure the return of equipment sent to Canada for repairs. read more

Germany has said that Russia’s apology was technically “unfounded” and was instead aimed at raising gas prices. read more

The Dutch wholesale prices for gas, the European reference, rose around 30% on Thursday afternoon.

Russia’s ambassador to the EU told the state news agency RIA Novosti that power via the pipeline could be completely suspended due to problems repairing turbines in Canada.

Alexey Miller, CEO of Gazprom, the state-controlled company with a monopoly on Russian gas exports via pipeline, said that Western sanctions made it impossible to secure the return of equipment from Canada for the pipeline’s compressor station in Portovaya. read more


Nord Stream 1 has the capacity to pump around 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year to the EU, which last year imported around 140 bcm of gas from Russia via pipelines.

Germany, like other European countries, is racing to replenish gas reserves so that they are 80% full by October and 90% by November before winter arrives. The stores are 52% full now.

Cutting currents through Nord Stream 1 would make that job more difficult, said the leader of the German energy regulator.

“We may be able to get through the summer as the heating season is over. But it is important that we fill the storage facilities to get through the winter,” Klaus Mueller told Thursday’s issue of the Rheinische Post.

Uniper (UN01.DE), Germany’s largest importer of Russian gas, said that supplies fell by a quarter compared to agreed volumes, but that they could fill missing volumes from other sources. The power producer RWE (RWEG.DE) said that they had seen restrictions in the last two days.

The European Union aims to ensure that gas storage facilities across the entire 27-nation bloc are 80% full by November. But other European nations are also facing declining Russian supplies. read more

Slovakia’s state-owned gas importer SPP said it expects Thursday’s Russian gas supplies to be reduced by around 30%, while Czech power company CEZ (CEZP.PR) said it had seen a similar drop but was filling the gap from other sources.


Austria’s OMV (OMVV.VI) said Gazprom informed it of reduced deliveries, French Engie (ENGIE.PA) said that power had gone down but clients were not affected, while Italian Eni (ENI.MI) said they would receive 65 % of the volumes they had requested from Gazprom.

The Italian government said that all possible measures were in place to deal with the situation if the gas supply cuts from Russia continue in the coming days. Other European countries have also prepared contingency plans.

In addition to the challenge, Nord Stream 1 will close completely during the pipeline’s annual maintenance 11-21. July.

Norway, Europe’s second largest exporter behind Russia, has pushed up production to help the EU towards the goal of ending its dependence on Russian fossil fuels by 2027.

British Centrica (CNA.L) signed an agreement with Norwegian Equinor (EQNR.OL) for extra gas supplies to the UK for the next three winters. The UK is not dependent on Russian gas and can also export to Europe via pipelines.

European states have also increased imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), but Europe has limited LNG import capacity and the already tight LNG market has faced further challenges with disruptions in US LNG production. read more

A fire last week at a US LNG export facility in Texas, operated by Freeport LNG, means the facility will be offline until September and will only operate partially from then until the end of 2022.

The plant, which accounts for around 20% of US LNG exports, has been a major supplier to European buyers.

“There is a risk of further delays, in our view,” said analysts at investment bank Jefferies, adding that regulators must approve the restart while two investigations were underway into the cause of the LNG leak at the plant.

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Reporting from Reuters, Giuseppe Fonte in Rome, Alexandra Schwarz-Goerlich in Vienna, Jan Lopatka in Prague, Madelaine Chambers in Berlin, Nina Chestney in London; Author by Nina Chestney; Edited by Jason Neely and Edmund Blair

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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