Germany’s gas storage levels are lower than typical for the beginning of February in full winter season, and the main reason for this is reduced natural gas pipeline flows from Russian giant Gazprom, especially at the Velke transit point in the Czech Republic, German outlet Der Spiegel reported.
According to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe, Germany’s storage was 40.6 percent full as of February 7.
This is a low figure for the start of the winter month of February, Eugen Weinberg, an analyst with Commerzbank, told Der Spiegel, but added that Germany’s gas in storage situation was not critical.
The last time the country had this low level of gas in storage so early in the winter was not so long ago, in 2017, according to Der Spiegel.
The lower flows from Gazprom via Ukraine are the most likely reason for this year’s low storage levels.
But the German economy ministry has said that there were “no signs” that Russia and Ukraine haven’t complied with their delivery agreement.
Still, speculation abounds.
Oliver Krischer, a Member of Parliament from the Green Party, told Der Spiegel: “It may be that Gazprom wants to reduce the supply and thus drive up the price. But it may also be that additional pressure is being increased for the completion of Nord Stream 2.”
Earlier this month, Dmitry Medvedev, former prime minister and now Deputy Chair of Russia’s Security Council, said that Russia could turn to a national or contract jurisdiction court to protect its interests against interference against the completion of the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
Last month, the U.S. imposed sanctions on the Russian pipe-laying vessel that was expected to complete the construction of Nord Stream 2, while several Western companies are said to have abandoned links to the project for fear of sanctions.