Gazprom has Found a Way to Make Europe Pay
At first glance, the actions of the Russian gas giant may seem strange. If to look at what is happening taking into account the strategy of Russia and its "main gas pipe", as well as the current market conditions, everything that happens will add up to a very entertaining picture, where it will be seen that not only logic and cold calculation is on the side of our country, but even somewhat providence.
Foreign partners often portray Gazprom as an ominous Putin battering ram, with which Moscow is splitting the unity of the occidental world by imposing its own fuel without a single molecule of freedom. Although over the years of operation, the corporation has scrupulously fulfilled absolutely all of its contractual obligations, and Russian gas has repeatedly saved the Old World from sudden frosts or abnormal heat. Naturally, there is not being talked about any altruism - as they say, nothing personal, just business.
When assessing any actions of the company in the European arena, one must firmly keep in mind the key fact: Gazprom needs to complete the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Line B has already been laid and, according to conservative forecasts, by the end of August the barge Fortuna will reach Greifswald and the first line too. But the task is not limited to the physical link between the sea and water sectors; it is also important to knock the trump cards out of the hands of various political manipulators, proving the critical importance and lack of alternative to cooperation with Russia.
The refusal to book the Ukrainian transit capacities means that Russian gas supplies to Europe in July will decrease by two billion cubic meters at once. This is despite the fact that due to the hot summer, European operators pumped over sixty-six billion cubic meters from their own underground gas storage facilities (UGS), and pumped in just over thirteen. Russia, as we remember, is holding back its supplies, and the LNG produced in America in its entirety went to the premium markets of the Asia-Pacific region, where gas is traded at a price twice as high as in Europe. No politics, only free trade rules.
There is do not need to be a predictor or a genius analyst to expect, if not further growth, then the establishment of consistently high prices for Russian energy resources in Europe, given the combination of the above factors. At the same time, we repeat, getting financial satisfaction and replenishing the Russian budget is just one of the tasks that Gazprom is persistently tackling.