The European countries are concerned about the Russian gas deliveries to Europe.
30% of the EU’s gas supply depends on Russia. The developments in Ukraine increase by the day Europe’s fear about a possible interruption of gas deliveries this winter. Moscow has already reduced the deliveries and the East European states, from Poland to Serbia increase their stocks. In what increasingly seems to be a battle of nerves, without motivating its decisions, on Monday, Gazprom announced the authorities in Bucharest that by Sunday, it would reduce by 10% the quantity of gas delivered to Romania.
However, subsequently, it changed its decision saying that on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the deliveries would be normal. “Apparently, we’ll have to get used to this situation, which will be the same in the coming months. Still, the quantity of gas imported from Russia is insignificant and does not affect the safe gas supply, even if Gazprom entirely stopped the gas delivery and resumed it next spring. We are prepared to cope with any situation and the population of Romania will not suffer from cold even if it is going to be a severe winter.” – said Romanian Energy Minister, Razvan Nicolescu. He made the statement in the conditions in which Romania boasts a considerable annual domestic gas production of 11 billion cubic metres and the warehouses with a total capacity of 2.8 billion cubic metres are half full.
According to Razvan Nicolescu, during this period, Romania daily consumes 16 million cubic metres of gas, but it produces a double quantity of 31 million cubic metres. Romania’s neighbours, Bulgaria and Serbia, do not fare that well, being exposed to interruptions of gas deliveries. They are almost entirely dependent on the Russian gas transiting Ukraine, as a Bloomberg survey shows. Last week, the gas companies from Poland and Slovakia announced that the Russian gas deliveries had been reduced by 25% and 10% respectively as compared to the quantity laid down in the contracts.
The underground warehouses in the Czech Republic and Poland are full, while Slovakia will increase its stocking capacity in the next few days, the energy companies in those states have announced. Only Lithuania has enough stocking capacities to survive without Russian gas this winter, analyst Mikhail Korchemkin from East European Gas says, In mid-June, Russia ceased its gas deliveries to Ukraine, which after pro-Western leaders took over power in Kiev, refuses the price rise imposed by Gazprom. According to Moscow, Ukraine has 5.3 billion dollars worth of debts to Russia. Under the circumstances, pundits regard Russia’s decisions as ways of curtailing any surplus of gas available in the region to curb the reverse in-flow to Ukraine.