Russian natural gas transit via the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which traverses Poland, has almost dried up, Interfax cited gas pipeline operators as saying on Monday (25 May), days after a gas transit deal between Moscow and Warsaw expired.
Russian gas giant Gazprom declined immediate comment.
The gas transit deal between Russia and Poland, dating back to the 1990s, expired on 17 May as Warsaw aligns its energy regulations with European Union rules and curbs its decades-old dependence on Russian fuel.
Poland’s gas grid operator Gaz-System reiterated that after the transit deal expired it started selling capacity on the Yamal pipeline via auctions.
It said that the capacity booked for Sunday was significantly lower than for the previous periods and that “there is no need for the pumping stations to work for 24 hours a day at such low orders for the transit service”.
According to Gaz-System, clients booked 4 million kWh/h each for Sunday and Monday, compared to around 12.5 million booked for Saturday.
Danila Bochkarev, Senior Fellow with the EastWest Institute, made the forecast in an op-ed with EURACTIV in April that in the absence of Brussels lending a hand, the risk of disruption of supply via the Yamal pipeline was real.
In the case of transit of Russian gas via Ukraine, the European Commission was able to avoid a disruption and to broker a deal satisfactory to all sides.