The supply of Russian gas decreased last weekend and there were also lower deliveries on Monday. Shipments via a major pipeline to Poland have stopped, while pipeline deliveries through Ukraine have declined.
Uncertainty drives up price
Less gas was also transported via a pipeline to Bulgaria due to damage to the line which is currently being repaired. Uncertainty about deliveries is driving gas prices up, reports Bloomberg news agency.
Another reason for the hoarding for gas and the subsequent price hike is that the Russian state gas group Gazprom refused yesterday to auction additional gas that would be shipped to Europe in January. Such a decision would have been interpreted as a sign of goodwill on the part of the Russians and thus resulted in lower prices, according to Reuters news agency.
In the absence of such a gesture, it also remains uncertain whether Gazprom will meet its delivery obligations to Europe, even though President Putin has promised to do so.
The Kremlin reported yesterday that deliveries to Europe will be increased from next week as domestic stocks will be fully replenished. President Vladimir Putin has ordered Gazprom to increase stocks at gas facilities in Germany and Austria. They are now well below normal levels.