Russia will replenish natural gas reserves in Western Europe as soon as domestic reserves are back to normal. Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the chief of state-owned company Gazprom, Alexei Miller, to write this on Wednesday. international news agencies. According to Russian media, our own stocks will be full again by November 8, after which it will be the turn of the storage fields in Europe.
By contract, Russia supplies a certain amount of gas every month. It is not known whether the stocks will be completely filled again or only for a certain percentage. It is also not clear whether Russia will deliver more than what is included in the contracts. Putin does say he expects that the price of gas in Europe will fall again by replenishing stocks.
Now that many economies are slowly recovering from the corona crisis, the demand for natural gas and with it the price has risen. Due to last year’s harsh winter, gas reserves in Western Europe were smaller than usual. According to MEPs and international gas experts, Russia has been messing with the gas supply for some time in order to increase (price) pressure even more, something that is systematically denied by the Kremlin. Since the beginning of this year, the price of natural gas on the Dutch gas exchange has risen by 365 percent.
Figures from 2019 show that around 40 percent of the natural gas consumed in Europe comes from Russia and is most likely supplied by Gazprom. The Netherlands has become a lot more dependent on imported gas since gas extraction in Groningen has been significantly reduced in recent years. The Dutch Petroleum Company (NAM) is allowed to extract 3.9 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the Groningen field during the current production year, which started on 1 October. In 2013, that was still more than 50 billion.
Also read: The gas crisis explained
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