Photo: Gazprom.

By Annie Cook

In the middle of winter, the Russians cut gas supplies to the European Union by almost half. However, there are countries that have received more gas. The resource is getting cheaper on the free market.

Gazprom exports to EU countries in the first half of January 2022 decreased by 41.1 per cent to 5.4 bcm. Since 21 December, Russian gas supply through the Yamal-Europe pipeline via Poland to Germany has been cut off, as Gazprom has not responded to capacity requests at daily auctions.

Supplies via the Nord Stream pipeline (a direct connection from Russia to Germany on the Baltic seabed) have dropped by 7.5 percent compared to late 2021. Moreover, according to Gazprom data, gas transit through Ukraine from January 1 to January 18 is almost 2.5 times lower than in the same period last year.

However, there are customers who received more Russian gas in January. One of them is Bulgaria, which laid a branch of the Turkish Stream through its territory. Another is Turkey, where Russia wants to maintain influence, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, a favourite holiday destination for Russians on the Balkan Peninsula.

Despite this and with increased LNG supplies to the Union, gas prices on the open market are already getting lower. On Thursday morning, the blue fuel fell by 8 per cent day-on-day and cost between $820 and $860 per 1,000 m3 on the London exchange. By comparison, on 21 December, when winter had not yet set in, the price reached a historic high of over USD 2190.4.