Rapid commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany could help calm record-high gas prices in Europe, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday as Moscow awaits regulatory approval to begin gas flows.
Russia announced last week that it had completed construction of the $ 11 billion Nord Stream 2 to Germany, doubling its gas export capacity across the Baltic Sea. However, the start of gas flows over the route requires the approval of the German regulatory authority, which can take up to four months.
â€œThe fastest introduction of Nord Stream 2 would undoubtedly offset the price parameters for natural gas in Europe, including on the spot market. It is obvious. The demand is great, â€Peskov said in a daily conference call with reporters.
Spot prices in the Dutch TTF gas hub reached a record high of 79 euros per megawatt hour or more than 960 US dollars per 1,000 cubic meters for low underground gas storage facilities in Europe.
A record run in energy prices, which has driven European electricity costs to multi-year highs, is unlikely to subside before the end of the year, which points to an expensive winter heating season for consumers.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said European customers of Kremlin’s energy giant Gazprom were “rubbing their hands together for joy” over long-term gas contracts that are tied to the oil price and are less volatile.
Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said on Wednesday that no gas will flow over Nord Stream 2 on October 1, as reported by Bloomberg.
ROSNEFTS GAS SHOP
Interfax quoted Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak as saying on Wednesday that the Russian Ministry of Energy would issue a report in the coming days on the possibility of Rosneft exporting gas to Europe via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Currently, Gazprom has exclusive rights to Russian pipeline gas exports and European regulations, the so-called third energy package, require third party access to pipelines.
Kirill Tachennikov of Moscow financial firm Sinara said it was not yet clear whether Rosneft’s possible involvement in gas exports through Nord Stream 2 would help Russia increase gas deliveries over the route.
“As for the third energy package, there is no clarity on the EU’s position on other Russian companies’ access to the new pipeline,” he said.
The Department of Energy did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Rosneft declined to comment.
Oil specialist Rosneft and its shareholder BP have long tried to export Russian natural gas to Europe because exports are more lucrative than domestic sales. Moscow’s Rosneft stock rose more than 4% in afternoon trading over the day.
Igor Sechin, the powerful head of Rosneft and longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly lobbied the Kremlin to restrict Gazprom’s export rights.
Gazprom said its natural gas exports outside the former Soviet Union had increased 17.4% to 138.6 billion cubic meters since the beginning of the year.
Peskov said the possibility of Rosneft exporting gas to Europe has been raised repeatedly but no decisions have been taken yet.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Dmitry Antonov, Olesya Astakhova and Oksana Kobzeva; Editing by David Evans, Elaine Hardcastle)