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Russian gas supply is unable to ease Europe's gas price surge this winter due to domestic and export pressure

29 September 2021 Anna Galtsova Laurent Ruseckas

With global gas markets, particularly in Europe, under intense pressure, observers are looking to Russia to again become the unlimited natural gas supplier of last resort. However, Russia faces its own natural gas supply, demand, and export pressures.

  • Availability of Russian natural gas exports has been unusually tight recently. Russian gas company Gazprom's typical summer cushion of spare capacity has been significantly lower than normal this year owing to high domestic storage refill requirements after a cold winter.

  • Yet, the call on Russian gas production remained lower than Gazprom's maximum productive capacity through most of the summer. Apart from August, when Gazprom may have been producing at maximum available capacity after an accident at a gas condensate processing plant, it does seem to have still held some spare capacity.

  • Are the Russian gas supply constraints possible this coming winter? This winter, Gazprom's spare productive capacity could fall to low levels or even to zero, depending on weather, raising the prospect of an unusual "involuntary" upstream constraint on Russian piped gas exports.

  • Gazprom has supplied its export contractual volumes, but no more. Although Gazprom appears to have met all its contractual commitments throughout 2021, it has not taken advantage of high prices to sell additional gas (for instance, through auctions on its Electronic Sales Platform [ESP]), nor has it been refilling its storage capacity within the European Union.

Gazprom's projected supply and demand balance in December 2021

Gazprom's projected supply and demand balance in December 2021

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Posted 29 September 2021 by Anna Galtsova, Research Director, Gas, Power, and Energy Futures, S&P Global Commodity Insights and

Laurent Ruseckas, Executive Director, Gas Industry, EMEA, S&P Global Commodity Insights

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