Gazprom announced Force Majeure Circumstances - Probably Cutting Off the Gas to Europe
Gazprom has declared force majeure on gas supplies to Europe for at least one major customer, according to a letter from the company, which will heighten European fears of fuel shortages, Reuters reported.
Dated July 14 and seen by the agency today, the letter seeks to protect Gazprom from paying compensation for supply disruptions, but risks escalating tensions between Russia and the West over the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a "special military operation."
The letter said Gazprom, which has a monopoly on the export of Russian gas via pipelines, could not meet its delivery obligations due to "extraordinary" circumstances.
It says the force majeure clause, used to release a business from contractual obligations due to factors beyond its control, is retroactive to deliveries starting on June 14.
A trade source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the letter concerned supplies via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, a major delivery route to Germany and beyond.
There was no immediate comment from Gazprom.
The Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline is closed for annual maintenance due to end on July 21, but some of Gazprom's European customers are nervous that supplies will not resume.
One of them, Austrian oil and gas group OMV, said today that it expects gas supplies from Russia via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to resume as planned.
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