Europe’s Natural Gas Crunch Deepens
(Bloomberg) -- Gazprom PJSC is withdrawing natural gas from some of Europe’s storage facilities, denting critical efforts to rebuild supplies ahead of winter.
The world’s biggest producer is taking fuel to compensate for lower supplies via the Yamal-Europe pipeline through Belarus and Poland to meet demand from customers, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
Europe is heading for a winter gas crisis unless it can rebuild its depleted inventories quickly. But despite record prices, inventories are still at the lowest for this time of year in more than a decade, with cargoes of liquefied natural gas heading to Asia to meet soaring demand there. Outages in the North Sea are also curbing supplies.
Inventories are being withdrawn from Gazprom’s Rehden storage site in Germany since last week, according to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe. The amount of gas taken from the Katharina site in Germany, co-owned by the producer, jumped on Wednesday to the most in more than a year. Gazprom declined to comment.
The withdrawals comes just after a fire at a Gazprom facility in Russia curbed supplies to Europe. The amount of gas entering Germany at the Mallnow compressor station has been falling since July 31 and dropped more than 40% on Wednesday, signaling that Russia is sending less through Yamal-Europe.
The Yamal link is smaller in capacity than the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany or the Soviet-era transit route through Ukraine, where flows are normal. But even a smaller reduction in overall supplies helped send benchmark European gas contracts to a record this month.
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