Russia further chokes off gas to Europe; top buyer getting just 40% of order
Italian gas supplier Eni (NYSE:E) said on Friday it received only half of the gas it requested from Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY), after receiving just two-thirds of requested volumes on Thursday, as Russia steps up pressure on Europe with deeper cuts to the supply of gas.
Germany's Uniper (OTC:UNPPY), Europe's biggest importer of Russian gas, said it was receiving just 40% of the gas it ordered from Russia, and France's gas network manager said no gas had flowed into the country through its border with Germany since Wednesday.
Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY) has blamed the cuts on a maintenance delay, which European officials, energy executives and analysts have rejected, saying the reduction looks designed to test the European Union's resolve in punishing Russia for the war in Ukraine.
The Wall Street Journal reports prices for natural gas in northwest Europe were stable on Friday at ~€125/MWh, after surging more than 50% this week and by more than 4x over year-ago levels.
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Europe has plenty of gas in storage to use in the coming months, but the concern is that the continent will run low later in the year when cooler temperatures lift demand and gas begins to drain from storage.
Europe's options are limited, as its facilities to import liquefied natural gas are near full capacity, and U.S. exports of LNG will decline for a while because of a fire at the Freeport LNG plant that could shut the facility until year-end.