"Gazprom sharply reduced its delivery of natural gas to the European spot market, despite growing market demand, and prevents other companies from supplying additional gas to Europe and competing with Gazprom. This is one of the key causes of the crisis contributing to record high gas prices in Europe. Gazprom's actions are anti-competitive and have significant negative consequences for all European consumers. Naftogaz, as a major gas purchaser on the European gas market, has suffered losses due to these abuses. Naftogaz, therefore, requests the European Commission to respond appropriately to these violations,” Naftogaz CEO Yuriy Vitrenko said.
In its complaint, Naftogaz has highlighted a number of specific abuses. Namely, this has to do with Gazprom’s deliberate refusal to properly refill gas storage facilities in the EU, which are owned by Gazprom or in which it has booked significant long-term capacities. In addition, the Russian company abruptly and without providing justification stopped selling gas through its own Electronic Sales Platform.
Despite having sufficient gas volumes and the ability to use the free transit capacity of Ukraine's Gas Transmission System Operator, Gazprom refused to deliver gas from Russia to Europe. Gazprom also failed to add a gas transmission point on its electronic platform in order to receive gas at the Ukraine-Russia border. In addition, Gazprom continues to block gas export by independent Russian gas producers and flows from Central Asia to Europe.
The goal of such action is to create an artificial deficit of gas to pressure the European Union into securing the rapid commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline without complying with European rules. Gazprom's actions directly contradict European antitrust law and have already led to record breaking prices of $1921 per 1,000 cubic meters (as of 21 Dec. 2021).
The complaint also alleges discriminatory approached by Gazprom to the use of Nord Stream 2, Ukraine’s Gas Transmission System Operator, and other transit routes, through which Russian gas is transported to Europe.
Naftogaz calls on the European Commission to immeditaley implement a number of precautionary measures. Specifically, Naftogaz requests the Commission to immediately order Gazprom to release significant gas volumes for sale on its Electronic Sales Platform on the Ukrainian-Russian border, or at least on the border of Ukraine and European Union Member States.
At the same time, Gazprom's customers receive the opportunity to buy gas specifically on the Russian-Ukrainian border for further independent reservation of GTS capacities and transportation to Europe and/or injection of gas into Ukrainian underground storage facilities. In addition, Gazprom must provide technical capabilities for its gas transmission system for the export of gas by private Russian production companies, as well as gas transit from Central Asia.
Naftogaz proposals aimed at resolving the energy crisis in Europe, as soon as possible, are fair and balanced.
Naftogaz's appeal to the European Commission contains a brief description of the abuses and anti-competitive actions taken by Gazprom, as well as priority proposals to normalize the situation. The company also intends to provide the European Commission with expanded and supplemented materials at a later date.