LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - European gas prices surged more
than 30% on Thursday after Russian forces launched an invasion
Below outlines why Russia has so much impact on Europe's gas
markets, even in countries that Russia does not supply directly.
HOW MUCH GAS DOES RUSSIA SUPPLY?
Europe relies on Russia for around 40% of its natural gas.
The bulk comes through pipelines including Yamal, which crosses
Belarus and Poland to Germany, Nord Stream 1, which runs
directly to Germany, and pipelines through Ukraine.
A network of interconnecting pipelines links Europes
internal gas markets.
Not all countries get supply directly from Russia, but if
countries such as Germany, the biggest consumer of Russian gas,
receive less from Russia, they must replace this from elsewhere,
for instance, Norway, which has a knock-on effect on available
gas for other countries.
As a result, news on Russian supplies triggers as much
volatility in British gas prices as in those in continental
Europe, even though Britain typically gets less than 5% of its
gas from Russia. Lower overall Russian supply to Europe means
less could be available from its largest supplier Norway.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the
European Union would be able to cope with some disruption of gas
imports from Russia..
A mild winter has also meant Europe's gas stocks are
healthier than many had expected toward the end of the winter
heating season, although they remain near a five-year low.
Gas prices however are expected to remain high, and several
European countries have pumped billions into measures to shield
households from the impact of record high energy
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO RUSSIAN SUPPLY?
Russian energy giant Gazprom on Thursday said gas
exports via Ukraine are normal and in line with requests from
Analysts expect Russia will continue to supply gas to Europe
and pointed to uninterrupted Russian supplies to Europe during
the Crimea crisis in 2014/15.
Flows through the Yamal Russia-Europe pipeline, which
traditionally account for about 15% of Russia's westbound supply
of gas to Europe and Turkey, have been in reverse mode since
December with flows going eastwards, contributing to the high
Flows in 2021 through Russia's three main pipelines to
Europe totalled 37,409 gigawatt hours/day (GWh/d) Refinitiv
Eikon data showed, down from 41,263 GWh/d in 2020 and 49,431
GWh/d in 2019.
WHAT ABOUT NORD STREAM 2?
Russia has said Nord Stream 2, which could double Moscow's
annual gas export capacity in the Baltic, could provide relief
to the European gas market.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday halted
certification of the pipeline after Russia formally recognised
two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent.
Washington on Wednesday also imposed sanctions on the
company in charge of building the pipeline.
Nord Stream 2 AG is a registered Swiss firm whose parent
company is the Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom.
Since the pipeline was not operational the moves by Germany
and the United States have not had an immediate impact on
However traders had expected it would be providing gas
supplies by the end of the year and prices for future delivery
The Dutch Q4 2022 contract was up 35% on
Thursday at 114 euros/MWh.
The British Winter 2022 contract was up 31% at
(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Barbara Lewis)