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Russia books under half available Yamal gas line capacity for October

Highlights

Auction result deepens Europe's winter energy crisis

30.75 mil cu m/d booked out of 87.2 mil cu m/d offered

No additional Ukrainian bookings made, Moldova also excluded

In a contentious market maneuver, Russian gas giant Gazprom booked Sept. 20 less than half of the natural gas transportation capacity offered on the Yamal pipeline from October, deepening the energy crisis within Europe.

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Following the clearest indication yet on how European supply will look until the Nord Stream 2 is given regulatory approval, there is now a growing clamor among energy majors and senior government officials for action to be taken to curb record wholesale prices and keep Europe adequately supplied this winter.

Data from auctioneers GSA and RBP showed that a total of 30.75 million cu m/d of transportation rights were booked along the Yamal transit, out of the 87.2 million cu m/d that was offered for the route spanning Belarus, Poland and terminating at Mallnow in Germany.

Market sources suspect that the recent rise in wholesale prices were due to lack of available volumes for October, the first month of the new gas year, and a new gas year for which Gazprom is yet to book Yamal capacity for winter beyond October.

In keeping with its recent strategy, additional capacity bookings through Ukraine entering at Sudzha were non-existent, even for transit to Moldova which had been the last bastion of additional Russian monthly bookings through the country.

These results all but confirm a Russian strategy to utilize only the 40 Bcm/year Ukrainian capacity with any additional supply coming via Nord Stream 2.