Russian gas giant Gazprom has halted pipeline deliveries to Poland and eastern Germany via the Yamal Pipeline following a ruling by Russian authorities.
According to a Gazprom spokesperson, a government resolution published on Wednesday has banned the company from having any dealings with Poland’s Europol Gaz, which owns and operates the Polish section of the pipeline.
Gazprom holds a stake of almost 49% in the Polish section of the pipeline.
The Yamal Pipeline can deliver 33 billion cubic metres per annum of gas to Poland and Germany. However, Gazprom has been using its capacity erratically for several months, with supplies drying up almost completely at the end of April.
The Russian sanctions against Europol Gaz also include Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Germania and its related affiliates in what Russia considers “unfriendly countries” — nations that have imposed sanctions against Russia, its corporations and individuals in response to the Russian military invasion to Ukraine.
Russian news agency Interfax said the sanctions cover 29 Gazprom affiliates located in Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
According to Gazprom, Poland’s sanctions against the gas producer have deprived the Russian company of its shareholder status in Europol Gaz since 26 April, blocking its voting rights and the ability to repatriate dividends.
The Gazprom spokesperson declined to comment on Gazprom’s relations with Gazprom Germania, which is now under temporary control of German network regulator Bundesnetzagentur.
German authorities ordered the regulator to take temporary operating control of Gazprom Germania in early April after Gazprom announced a deal to sell its interest in the subsidiary to an unknown Russian-registered limited liability company.
It is understood that the regulator may release its control over Gazprom Germania by end of September, but Gazprom has indicated that it does not plan to continue owning and managing the subsidiary and has demanded that the subsidiary stops using its logo and name.
Gazprom Germania operates Germany’s biggest gas storage facility, Astora, which is located at Rehden in the Lower Saxony region.
The Astora plant has a capacity of 4 Bcm, however, Bundesnetzagentur found the storage facilities were almost empty when it took control in April.
Coupled with the loss of a third of its contracted transit capacity across Ukraine earlier this week, Gazprom now has just one pipeline to northern Europe remaining in operation — the 55 Bcm per annum capacity Nord Stream link.
Nord Stream has been serving both Germany and Poland since April, with the Yamal Pipeline being operated in the reverse direction to carry gas from Germany to Poland, according to data from gas transmission operators.
Prices at the TTF gas spot trading hub in the Netherlands increased by 10% on Thursday, with contracts for delivery in July and August trading in the range between €105 ($111) and €106 per megawatt.
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