MOSCOW. Aug 1 (Interfax) - The loss of compressor capacity on the Nord Stream gas pipeline due to Canadian sanctions has slowed the pace of gas injection into European underground storage facilities.
The request for transit of Russian gas through Ukraine on Friday was little changed from previous days and months.
Ukraine's Gas Transport System Operator (GTSOU) has accepted a request from Gazprom for Monday to transport 41.7 million cubic meters of gas through the country, compared to 42.2 mcm the previous day, data from GTSOU show.
Capacity was requested only through one of two entry points into Ukraine's Gas Transport System, the Sudzha metering station. A request was not accepted through the Sokhranovka metering station.
Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told reporters that the company is "feeding Russian gas for transit through the territory of Ukraine in the amount confirmed by the Ukrainian side through the Sudzha metering station - 41.7 mcm for July 29." The request for Sokhranovka was "declined," he said.
OGTSU declared a force majeure in regard to accepting gas for transit through Sokhranovka, claiming that it cannot control the Novopskov compressor station. Ukraine also said that if gas continued to be fed from Russia to the Sokhranovka station, amounts would be reduced accordingly at the exit points from Ukraine's gas transport system. The route through Sokhranovka provided transit of more than 30 mcm of gas per day.
Gazprom believes there are no grounds for a force majeure or obstacles to continuing to operations as before.
The supply of gas through the Nord Stream pipeline (NS1) from Russia to Europe fell to 30 mcm on July 31.
At full capacity, NS1 can pump up to 167 mcm of gas per day, but capacity has been falling due to disruptions in the maintenance schedule for compressor equipment at the Portovaya compressor station that feeds the pipeline. It has gas pumping turbines from Rolls-Royce, whose gas turbine business was subsequently acquired by Germany's Siemens.
The delays are due to sanctions that Canada imposed against Gazprom, as a result of which one turbine was not returned to Russia on time from Siemens Energy's service center in Montreal. Meanwhile, the time has come for maintenance on other turbines, both due to them reaching the end of their operating period between repairs and due to breakdowns.
Spot prices for gas in Europe are holding above $2,000 per 1,000 cubic meters after the drop in pumping capacity on NS1. Prices in Asia also rose, with September futures on the JKM Platts (Japan Korea Marker) index, which reflects spot market prices for gas delivered to Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan, climbing to $1,507.
Europe is continuing to inject gas into underground gas storage (UGS) facilities, reserves in which now stand at 68.89%, up by 0.41 percentage points on the last reporting date, July 30, data from Gas Infrastructure Europe show. This is the lowest increase since the shutdown of NS1 for scheduled maintenance. The pace of injection has slowed due to the latest reduction of NS1 supplies.
Data on the state of UGS, reserve levels in which are now regulated by the law, have become one of the most important economic and political indicators for Europe, reflecting EU leaders' ability to ensure energy security.
Europe imposed tight regulation of the use of UGS this year. Reserves are supposed to be at least 80% of UGS capacity by the start of the 2022 offtake season and increase to 90% in subsequent years.
Wind power's contribution to electricity generation across the EU rose to 11% last week after 9% in the week of July 18-24, data from WindEurope show. A modest increase in wind speeds is expected on Monday but will subside by evening, after which windless weather is expected through the end of the week.
European liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminals are operating at an average of 70% of capacity in July compared to 63% in June. This region remains a premium market for LNG, as prices in Asia are somewhat lower than at European hubs.
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