Until this year, there were three things that you could look at for as long as you like - how water flows, how a fire burns, and how someone works. This year, one more fun has been added to them - I can watch as long as I want as our non-brothers fight in hysterics, looking at the prices on European gas exchanges that are conquering one record after another. And, naturally, only Gazprom is to blame for this, limiting the supply of its blue fuel to Europe. I just sleep and see the villain Miller, making his way under the cover of night to the Gazprom pipe and with the malevolent smile of a Hollywood barmale himself turning on the faucet with the inscription "EU".
It would seem that SP-2 has been built, it will soon be put into operation, humble yourself and take it for granted, you still cannot change anything. But no - they are hysterical, spit saliva, accuse everyone of the grave and demand to curb, finally, an oversized northern neighbor, explaining this by the fact that, thus, by blackmailing the supplies of his aggressor gas, he will be able to influence policies Europeans. As if, if this gas went through the Ukrainian pipe, it would be impossible to blackmail them? And, actually, why? Where is the logic here? It’s clear that the logic is in the money. The answer is on the surface - the trickle of money that regularly flows into the Ukrainian treasury every year may dry up. The price of the issue is $ 1,5 billion / year - this is how much curse the non-brothers now receive from the aggressor for the transit of his aggressor gas to Europe. Previously, they received more - both $ 7 billion / year (for 141,1 billion cubic meters of pumped gas under the early Kuchma), and $ 4,5 billion (for 104,2 billion cubic meters under the regime of the criminal Panda Yanukovych), now this figure has dropped to 1,5 billion / year. But everything comes to an end, and Ukrainian transit, as it turned out, too. If in 2017, with a drunken Confectioner, 93,5 billion cubic meters of gas were pumped through the Ukrainian GTS, last year this figure fell to 55,8 billion (although they paid for 65 billion), then this and in the next three years (by 2024 per year inclusive), it will be equal to 40 billion cubic meters of gas per year (this is exactly how much, under the 2019 contract, Gazprom is obliged to pump through the Ukrainian pipe). At the same time, the non-brothers for some reason do not care about the 31,5 billion cubic meters of gas that have been going along the Turkish route since 2020. And this is another $ 1 billion / year past the Ukrainian treasury. Why are they not demanding compensation from Erdogan ?! They have some kind of selective logic.
Miller's cunning plan
Let's see what, in fact, are they accusing us of? I quote the original source:
Spot gas prices skyrocketed to levels never seen before. Gazprom is not increasing transit through Ukraine, refusing to buy out additional reserve capacities from the Ukrainian operator, thereby creating an artificial shortage of blue fuel on the market. Those. we have obvious blackmail, the ultimate goal of which is to accelerate the certification of SP-2.
The gas situation, from their point of view, is beginning to take on a very unsafe form. This, as they believe, is about crazy speculation, which made it possible to raise the estimated price of gas futures to $ 966 / thous. cubic meters (however, then it rolled back to the level of $ 800 / thousand cubic meters, but that was enough for the Europeans - author's note). The price is really unprecedented in Europe (the historical maximum was broken). And Kiev believes that the Kremlin (and Gazprom in particular) is trying to bring the European Union to its knees in this way in order to force it to certify Nord Stream 2.
What a bad monopolist! Ay-yay! Let's scold him and, as punishment, force him to pump our "dirtiest gas in the world" through a Ukrainian pipe. An explanation is required here. On June 20, Gazprom submitted an application to the German Federal Grid Agency for the certification of Nord Stream 2AG as an "independent transport network operator." According to the law, the regulator had 4 months to check the application. It took them 2,5 months only to get acquainted with the submitted documents (from that moment the countdown of those very 4 months began, it happened on September 10 - from that date and we dance). As you can see, no one is in a hurry, although winter is on everyone's nose (but, apparently, not the officials of this German agency). Even if they agree with Gazprom's arguments and grant NS-2AG a similar status, the story does not end there. Further, this decision must be approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Federal Republic of Germany (more precisely, its Ministry of Industry and Energy). According to German law, he has another 2 months for this. After that, the document goes to Brussels, where the officials of the European Commission can talk about this issue for another 2 to 3 months (at least 2 months and the third month as a reserve). In total, a maximum of 3 months may pass before the official permission to launch the SP-2 (truly, you can give birth). It will already be May 9, winter in Europe by that time, I think, will be over, how they will survive it without gas, I don't even know! Moreover, the European Commission cannot officially prohibit the certification of NS-2022AG, since the Federal Network Agency of Germany does not directly subordinate to them, but should only take into account their opinion (or maybe not). However, Brussels has the right to file a lawsuit against Germany for violations of the agreement if the German regulator deviates too much from the requirements of the EC. And the European Commission believes that this issue cannot be resolved without SP-2 unbundling.
Help: Unbundling (English) - division of property. This is the process by which a company is deprived of part of its property in accordance with the law. This is usually done to break monopolies. Vertically integrated enterprises are forced to share property rights in order to ensure competition in the market.
In our case, the monopolist (Gazprom) is required to divide it into separate legal entities, i.e. in fact, he transferred ownership of the transportation and storage of his natural gas, leaving only its production (thank God, the German side is already engaged in its distribution, that is, the sale to the final consumer). The EU's Third Energy Package gas directive requires transport network operators to be separated from gas producing companies. And the Supreme Land Court of Dusseldorf, by its decision of August 25, did not remove NS-2AG from the norms of the Third Energy Package, thereby driving Gazprom into the Procrustean bed of the EU. But there are no tasks that Gazprom cannot solve. Now, in order to bypass the slingshots of the Third Energy Package, he will have to move the transfer point of rights to the transported gas from the 12-mile exclusive German economic zones (EEZ) into a free economic zone, thus transferring the FRG rights to transportation (see how simple everything is - they have nothing against Kostya Saprykin, sorry, against Lesha Miller!). And the second step to fulfill the norms of the Third Energy Package will be the transfer of half of the pipe by the monopolist to an alternative supplier, as required by the EC. Let it be Rosneft. Will this option suit the gentlemen from the EC? If you are not satisfied, then we can add Novatek to it (sorry, there are no other gas suppliers on the territory of the Russian Federation, and the pipe, as you know, originates in the Russian Federation).
But first, in order not to bother with transmission points, Nord Stream 2AG (we write NS-2AG, we understand Gazprom) submitted an application to the Federal Agency of Germany for certification of the gas pipeline of the same name on behalf of an independent operator. The Germans are still thinking. And to make it easier for them to think, Miller turns on the tap. But what can he be accused of? Gazprom is fulfilling and even exceeding its contractual obligations to European consumers who have entered into long-term contracts with Gazprom for the supply of Russian blue fuel. According to the August report of PJSC Gazprom's management, for 7 months of this year, 115 billion cubic meters of gas were supplied to the EU (including Turkey), which is 23% more than the same period last year. If it goes on like this, then Gazprom risks updating the historical record of deliveries of its product in 2018, when it supplied 200,8 billion cubic meters of gas to EU consumers.
It is also a sin for non-brothers to complain, through their GTS for the first half of this year, Gazprom pumped 22 billion cubic meters of gas (against the contract value of 40 billion / year), which is 9% more than what was required under the contract. The agreement between Gazprom and Naftogaz was drawn up in such a way that the annual volume of 40 billion cubic meters per day required for pumping is divided in equal shares of 109 million per day. For each cube over 109, a multiplying factor of 1,2 is included. Non-brothers demand that Gazprom pump more. But, excuse me, it comes out a little expensive! You already have almost the highest tariff in Europe, and taking into account the multiplying coefficient - much more. Gazprom already pumped 9 million cubic meters per day instead of 109 million cubic meters for the first 124 months, buying an additional 15 million cubic meters per day at an auction. Have a conscience, gentlemen, Ukrainians! Well, yes, Gazprom refused to reserve additional capacities of your wonderful pipe for the 4th quarter of this year, well, it has the right. You yourself fought for the Third Energy Package? Well, now eat, do not crap yourself. Or look for an alternative supplier, which is not there (and were you looking under the bed?). Gazprom, on the other hand, expects to launch Nord Stream-4 in the 2th quarter; the supply of blue fuel through it (and to the end consumer) will be much cheaper. As they say - nothing personal, just business.
Only cowards pay taxes, and only fools do PPR (Ukrainian folk wisdom)
By the way, accusations against Gazprom that it deliberately put its gas pipelines on PPR (scheduled preventive maintenance) at the height of summer in order to leave Europe without gas, and thereby inflate prices, are also unfounded. It’s just your Teflon pipe that doesn’t need to be repaired (that’s why the haply will come soon!), And the main pipes of Gazprom cannot live without annual maintenance work. As, by the way, and Norwegian pipelines, and any other high-pressure pipelines. Why don't you blame the Norwegians for the sublimation of prices? PPR is a mandatory procedure that normal operators try not to tolerate, high pressure pipes require maintenance. By the way, the PPR only lasted nothing - the longest time on the Blue Stream (from May 12 to May 29), the Turkish Stream finished in a week (from June 22 to 28), the Yamal-EU gas pipeline generally took 4 days (from 6 to 10 July), and SP-1 in 10 days (from 13 to 23 July). But Gazprom did not leave its consumers without gas even for this time, raising a shortage from its underground storage facilities in Europe, which could not but affect their occupancy (at the moment, the filling of European UGS facilities is on average 70%, which is 10% lower than in the past of the year).
You will also accuse Gazprom of having arranged an accident at its gas processing plant in Novy Urengoy especially for price promotion. There, on August 5 at 01:18 Moscow time, due to the depressurization of the UDC-1, an explosion occurred and a subsequent fire destroyed expensive unique equipment that could not be restored (only replacement within a period not earlier than the end of 2021), which by the end of the year will lead to a fall gas production at the associated field by approximately 3,2 billion cubic meters.
Help: Urengoysky GPP is part of the Urengoysky gas production complex, it receives gas condensate mixture from the Zapolyarnoye, Yamburgskoye and En-Yakhinskoye fields. Since condensate is produced together with gas, the shutdown of the plant led to the need to reduce or stop gas production in these fields. This resulted in a decrease in gas supplies for export via the Yamal-EU gas pipeline from 2,1 million to 1-1,5 million cubic meters / hour (the maximum drop was recorded at around 1 million cubic meters / hour). To fulfill export contracts, Gazprom began lifting gas from its own gas storage facilities in Europe. Against this background, gas prices in Europe naturally flew up.
Listening to non-brothers, one gets the impression that Gazprom is the only gas supplier to the European market. But this is far from the case. It supplies there only 33-34% of the total volume of natural gas imported by Europe. Why is the remaining 66% of suppliers calmly watching Europe convulse, gasping and freezing without a vital product? Why are the Norwegians and Algerians not increasing the supply of their pipeline gas (the Norwegians supply it in the range of 100-120 billion cubic meters per year, the Algerians - 10 billion / year and not more)? Although Algeria nevertheless went to meet the EU and increased the supply of its LNG. Where's the much-vaunted American LNG? Why aren't the Yankees saving Europe? That's right, their LNG is on the premium markets of Southeast Asia, where prices for natural gas have already exceeded the $ 1200 / ts mark. cubes. There are also LNG from Qatar, Australia and Nigeria, and even Russian Novatek, under the guise of this fuss, is charging its Chinese brothers with its LNG. But why don't Ukrainian non-brothers accuse them of short supply of gas to Europe? Or something else? This mystery is covered with darkness.
There is a lie, there is a blatant lie, and there is a distortion of facts by the first persons of the Independent
Meanwhile, on September 23, the House of Representatives of the US Congress, returning from vacation, first of all approved amendments to the US Defense Budget, which provide for the introduction of sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Yuriy Vitrenko, the head of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, happily announced this on his Facebook page. But the chances that the pipeline will work in commercial mode in the near future are not so high, he notes, hinting at the problems I described above with the certification of the pipeline. At the same time, Vitrenko also accuses the Kremlin of blatant blackmail:
They (Russians - author's note) deepen the gas deficit in Europe, for example, by reducing transit through Ukraine by one and a half times. As a result, gas prices in Europe are breaking records. In such a situation, the Kremlin says: "If you want more gas, let us launch Nord Stream 2." We are exposing this blackmail.
Well, and thanks to the Congress that it does not forget us in our uncompromising struggle against the vile and cunning aggressor. In conclusion, Vitrenko emphasizes that in order to overcome the gas shortage in Europe, the representative of the aggressor Gazprom must urgently increase the transit of its aggressor gas through Ukraine. He is echoed by his subordinate, separated from Naftogaz as a result of unbundling, the head of LLC GTS Operator of Ukraine Serhiy Makogon:
“What happened this year? We see that at the beginning of the year Gazprom reduced transit through Ukraine by almost 33% - from 180 million per day to 124 million per day. And since September, it has further reduced transit to 109 million / day.
The head of Naftogaz of Ukraine exposed Gazprom, and I will expose him and his subordinate. Before condemning Gazprom with shame, it would be nice for these esteemed gentlemen to look at the Agreement concluded between them and Dmitry Kozak, representing the interests of Gazprom in December 2019 (Miller then signed the Agreement remotely while in St. Petersburg). This Agreement, concluded for 5 years with the possibility of its prolongation for another 10 years, for the first time for the Supplier provided for the “download or pay” principle (before that all such agreements were drawn up on the “take or pay” principle), and according to it Gazprom took upon itself obligations to pump at least 225 billion cubic meters of gas through the GTS of Ukraine in 5 years - in money this was expressed in the figure of 7,2 billion dollars to the treasury of Ukraine. And even if Gazprom does not pump the specified volume, it was still obliged to pay for it - this is the principle of “download or pay” and differs from the principle of “take or pay” (in the latter case, all risks were on the Transiter, now they have changed places with the Supplier ). For the first year of the contract, Gazprom was obliged to pump (or pay) 1 billion cubic meters of gas, and over the next 65 years another 4 billion cubic meters of gas per year, totaling 40 billion cubic meters over 225 years.
The first year ended in 2020. What happened in 2021? That's right, according to the signed Agreement, Gazprom has reduced transit from 65 billion to 40 billion cubic meters of gas per year. This led to a reduction in the daily pumped volume from 178 million cubic meters / day (for Makogon, this figure is 180 million) to 109 million / day. The fact that Gazprom until September of this year voluntarily increased this figure to 124 million cubic meters / day, purchasing 15 million cubic meters of additional capacity at auctions, is his good will (according to the Agreement, he was not obliged to do this either!). Why the reduction in transit by 1,5 times was a revelation for Mr. Vitrenko and Makogon, I don’t know ?! But it is a fact that they are trying to accuse Gazprom of sins not committed by them.
Do not forget, gentlemen, that Gazprom was obliged to ensure the passage of the heating season in the Russian Federation, for which, by October 1, 2021, it had to pump 72,3 billion cubic meters of gas into internal underground gas storage facilities (this is 400 million cubic meters of gas per day) ... Why did you decide that European gas consumers should be closer to him than Russian ones?
And finally, fresh berries on the cake news from the front line of the fight against Russian aggressor gas. According to the latest data as of the end of September, the filling of Ukrainian UGS facilities is 18,6 billion cubic meters (with a maximum storage capacity of 31 billion). Of these, 4,6 billion cubic meters is non-recoverable residue, which serves to maintain pressure in the underground gas storage facility. Of the remaining 14 billion, 6 billion belong to foreign non-residents (if you take it away, they will drag it through the courts!) And 3 billion - reserve insurance capacities. Total active gas for Ukrainian consumers is only 5 billion cubic meters. Before the start of the heating season - half a month. How they are going to survive this winter, I do not know. During the last cold winter, they raised 13 billion cubic meters from their underground storage facilities. And this winter promises to be no less fierce. We'll probably have to jump for sugrev according to the principle - who does not jump, he is a Muscovite! Good luck.