Russia has cut off gas to Finland. After the latter’s request for NATO membership, and at the height of a steady increase in tension between neighbors, Gazprom has turned off the taps. Formally, the reason is the one already advanced with Poland and Bulgaria last month: the non-payment in rubles for the expected supplies. An option that Finland refused.
On May 20, the deadline to pay for April deliveries expired and at dawn the following morning Gazprom Export, the export arm of Putin’s energy giant, tightened the flow.
The confirmation of the stop by the Finns
The Finnish state company, Gasum, on Saturday morning gave the official confirmation: the supplies of natural gas from Russia provided for in the supply contract with Finland were interrupted as of today. It is, in particular, the entry point of Imatra that has been blocked. The company then added that it “will supply its customers with natural gas from other sources through the pipeline Balticconnector. Gasum’s filling stations in the gas network area will continue to operate normally “.
The alternatives in Moscow
The tension is very high, but on the market the move was in a sense expected and worrying up to a certain point. While most of the gas used in Finland comes from Russia, it still accounts for only 5% of the nation’s annual energy consumption. As he remembers Bloombergits use is mainly on an industrial level and does not concern – as is the case in many other European countries – heating.
Sanna Marin at lunch with Letta and Conte: “Finnish neutrality is over, vote for us to join NATO”
by Giovanna Vitale
18 Maggio 2022
The alternatives are the Balticconnector gas pipeline, the plant connects the Scandinavian country to the neighboring gas network of Estonia. However, there are doubts from the US agency as to whether its capacity is able to compensate for what has failed. In fact, it is not the only source for surviving Moscow’s move.
A ship for next winter
The problem is for the coming winter: in recent days Finland has declared that it has agreed to charter a storage and regasification vessel from a company based in the United States to help replace Russian supplies, starting in the fourth quarter of this year. year. “The Finnish gas system is in equilibriumboth from a physical and a commercial point of view “, they assured by the Finnish operator.
View from Gazpromon the other hand, although the report dates back half a century, Finland is a “small” customer. The Russian company said it had supplied 1.49 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Finland in 2021, equal to about two thirds of the country’s gas consumption. However, Finland accounts for only 1% of Gazprom’s gas exports to Europe and Turkey, judging by the figures for the first half of last year. Moreover, Russia had already cut the sale of electricity to the Nordic country in recent days.
Even in a phase of great volatility, in which market indications often change abruptly, the price of gas had dropped on Friday, when it had already emerged that Russia would have closed the flow. In fact, June natural gas futures sold 0.29% to 90.76 euros per MWh, on the Amsterdam market. While remaining at very high levels, the week ended with a 9% drop in prices.