German Economy Minister, Robert Habeck, reported that the German subsidiaries of Gazprom have stopped receiving gas from Russia since May 11, 2022.
“Yesterday [on May 11] in the evening, at about 10.30 pm, Putin published a decree according to which European enterprises are subject to sanctions. In Germany, Gazprom and its subsidiaries no longer receive gas from Russia,” Habeck stated on May 12, speaking in the Bundestag.
As specified, we are talking about 10 million cubic meters per day, which must be compensated at the expense of other sources. According to Habeck, German gas workers “monitor the situation and have prepared for it.”
It is reminded that the Russian government imposed retaliatory sanctions against the Gazprom Germania group, which is under the control of the German authorities. In particular, the sanctions apply to the Wingas/WIEH/WIEE trading group, which owns a large package of long-term contracts for the supply of Russian gas. Their volume covers about half of Gazprom’s supplies to Germany.
The move by the Russian leadership was a response to the decision of the German authorities to transfer Gazprom Germania holding under the management of the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). So far, the validity period of the decision is until September 30 of this year.
Experts noted that the realization by European officials and the market of the effect of retaliatory Russian sanctions led to an increase in spot gas prices in Europe by more than 20 per cent to the closing level of the previous day. The nearest (June) TTF futures on the ICE Futures exchange jumped to $1,245 per thousand cubic meters.
The price of June gas futures on the index of the largest European hub TTF has been growing since the opening of the trading session; on the morning of May 12, it amounted to $1085.8 (+6.4 per cent to the estimated price on May 11 — $1020.7). Then the quotes accelerated the growth rate and reached a price maximum of $1,233.9 (+20.9 per cent). The cost in the last minutes remains above $1,200 and is growing by almost 20 per cent.
A noticeable increase in quotations was observed on May 10 after the announcement of the “GTS Operator of Ukraine” that gas transit to Europe through the Sokhranovka station will be stopped from the morning of May 11.
It is noted that gas prices in Europe jumped sharply after the start of the Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine: if by the end of February 23, the estimated price of the nearest futures was $1038.6 per thousand cubic meters, then on February 24 it jumped by almost 50 per cent to $1555.5.
At the beginning of March, quotes updated historical highs for four days in a row due to fears of a ban on the import of Russian energy resources. The price record of $3,892 was reached on March 7 (+275 per cent by February 23), and the estimated price at the end of the day was $11.7 (+146.5 per cent).
But then the quotes moved to a steady decline, the minimum settlement price for two months was fixed on April 25 — 1027.1 dollars per thousand cubic meters (-1.1 per cent by February 23). After that, gas futures went up again and reached $1,370 per thousand cubic meters. A new sharp increase in quotations was associated with the stoppage of Gazprom’s supplies to Poland and Bulgaria due to their refusal to pay for gas in rubles, as Russia has been accepting payments for gas only in rubles since April 1.
According to the new rules, an importer must open a special account in Gazprombank, to which he will transfer funds in the currency specified in the contract. The bank will sell this currency on the Moscow Exchange and transfer rubles to the account of a gas buyer, from which settlements will be made with the supplier — Gazprom. As Russian President, Vladimir Putin, explained, if unfriendly countries do not accept this scheme, Russia will consider it a non-fulfillment of obligations under gas contracts.
Meanwhile, 20 European companies have already opened accounts in Gazprombank to buy Russian gas, Bloomberg writes, citing a source familiar with the situation.
“A total of 20 European companies have opened accounts, another 14 are asking for the necessary documents to open them,” Bloomberg quotes the source as saying.
Source: Interfax, RIA Novosti