No Gazprom booking on Yamal-Europe: press
The Reuters news service reported December 27 that Russian natural gas company Gazprom has yet to book additional capacity on the Yamal-Europe pipeline.
European markets are seeing a supply-side crunch, though recent shipments of LNG from the US helped alleviate shortages last week. Tensions over Ukraine, which hosts a network of Soviet-era pipelines, and Western pressure on Russia’s Nord Stream natural gas pipeline have only compounded the issue.
Now, the Yamal-Europe natural gas pipeline is sending gas in reverse, back toward Poland.
Reuters reported December 27 that Gazprom has not booked any capacity on the pipeline for exports, adding that the gas flows through the pipeline have been moving in reverse for the better part of a week.
Flows through the pipeline have become a geopolitical issue for Europe and former Soviet republics. The EU recently imposed sanctions on Belarus in response to the migrant crisis on the border with Poland. Both Poland and the EU accuse Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging migrants from Middle East and African nations to try to enter Poland, creating a border crisis.
Belarus is a key transit route for Siberian gas flowing via the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Poland and Germany. The former Soviet republic also hosts parts of the Druzhba pipeline system that sends crude oil to central and eastern Europe.