According to data from Refinitiv Eikon, Russia’s natural gas exports by pipeline to the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) fell by nearly 40% during the first seven months of 2022 compared to the same time in 2021 and by nearly 50% compared to the prior five-year (2017-21) average. The lowest level in nearly 40 years was reached by mid-July 2022, when shipments dropped to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). According to Eurostat, between 2016 and 2020, Russia accounted for nearly one-third of the pipeline natural gas supplies to the EU and the UK.
According to information from Gazprom, Russia exports natural gas to the EU and UK through three significant pipeline corridors, which, when combined with lesser interconnections, provide for about 16.0 Bcf/d of import pipeline capacity:
offshore (underwater) Nord Stream 1 pipeline from the Baltic Sea into Germany (at Greifswald as its entrance point) and then on to the Netherlands, France, the UK, and other European nations. Poland (at Kondratki entrance point) and Germany via Belarus (at entry point Mallnow, the westernmost point of the Yamal pipeline). By way of Ukraine to Slovakia (at the border crossing point of Velke Kapusany), where the natural gas pipeline splits off to Austria and the Czech Republic, natural gas is then transported to further northern and southern European nations. Since 2020, Russia has been reducing its natural gas pipeline supplies to the EU and the UK, initially as a result of decreased demand in Europe due to responses to the COVID-19 epidemic. Midway through 2021, Russia started to only sell natural gas to Europe in accordance with long-term contracts and stopped making spot market sales. Russia exported 16.0 Bcf/d of natural gas on average in 2019, 12.4 Bcf/d in 2020, and 10.9 Bcf/d in 2021 to the EU and the UK.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline has caused Russia’s exports to Germany to decrease most noticeably. Only 20% of Nord Stream 1’s 5.6 Bcf/d design capacity was exported in July, at 1.4 Bcf/d. Beginning in October 2021, Russia’s deliveries to Germany (through Belarus and Poland) at Mallnow sharply decreased.
In comparison to the prior five-year average of 4.2 Bcf/d for the same period, pipeline flows from Russia into Slovakia have averaged 1.8 Bcf/d so far in 2022. The shutdown of a natural gas compressor station in Ukraine contributed to the drop in pipeline flows. By way of Belarus, Russia’s natural gas exports to Poland and its neighbors averaged 0.9 Bcf/d from January 2021 to April 2022 before falling to 0.2 Bcf/d ever since.
The EU and UK have been importing record-high volumes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year, especially from the United States , to make up for weaker natural gas pipeline shipments from Russia.
Warren Wilczewski and Victoria Zaretskaya are the main authors.
Thank you to AA3, AA4,
Refinitiv Eikon, using data from the European Transmission System Operators, is the source of the featured graph and the data. Note: According to daily flow volumes at the principal entry points in Germany, Slovakia, and Poland, Russia’s natural gas exports by pipeline also include exports to the European Union and the United Kingdom.
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