The Paris-based body said that while Russia fulfills its long-term contracts with its European customers, it is delivering less gas to Europe than it was before the coronavirus pandemic.
“The IEA believes that Russia could do more to increase the availability of gas in Europe and ensure that storage is filled to adequate levels for the next winter heating season,” said the IEA, which is mainly funded by OECD members to advise on energy policy and security.
“It is also an opportunity for Russia to underline its credentials as a reliable supplier in the European market. “
Some industry players have accused Gazprom, the Russian state-backed monopoly gas pipeline exporter, of limiting follow-up sales in the spot market to Europe – contributing to soaring prices that raise household bills and threatens industries across the continent.
The company has also destabilized energy traders by keeping the underground storage facilities it controls in Europe at low levels compared to previous years.
Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller said last week the company was meeting its supply obligations and was ready to increase production if needed, but warned that prices could rise further in the winter due to shortages in the underground facilities.
Gas prices rose again on Monday after Gazprom refused to reserve additional export capacity via Ukraine for October and reserved only a third of the space available on the Yamal gas pipeline via Poland .
Russia is also seeking approval to start the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, a recently completed project that is controversial in part because it will redirect some of the gas flowing through Ukraine, where Russia has led. a proxy war in the eastern border regions since 2014.
Gazprom and Kremlin officials have said Russia may increase gas sales once Germany and the EU approve the start of the pipeline, adding to suspicions that it has restricted sales in an attempt to ‘speed up the decision.
The IEA, which was formed after the Arab oil embargoes of the 1970s, did not blame Russia alone for the price hikes. He said strong demand for liquefied natural gas in Asia, which has diverted cargoes from Europe, has squeezed supplies around the world.
He also said that blaming the rise of renewables for soaring prices was wrong. The drop in wind speed in Europe this summer is a factor that has boosted gas demand.
“The recent increases in global natural gas prices are the result of several factors, and it is inaccurate and misleading to dismiss the responsibility for the clean energy transition,” the IEA said.
European politicians have at times seemed reluctant to blame Russia for contributing to the fact that gas prices have more than tripled this year. However, some members of the European Parliament have called for an investigation into Gazprom’s role in the crisis.
The IEA call came as Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to allow Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, to supply gas to Europe via the pipeline, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Energy Minister Alexander Novak recommended allowing Rosneft to export 10 billion cubic meters to Europe per year through Gazprom’s export transit facilities in a recent report to Putin, the person said.
The amount is small compared to the 139 billion m3 that Gazprom has exported outside the former Soviet Union so far this year. But that would mean the very significant end of Gazprom’s monopoly on gas exports, which are more profitable than the Russian domestic market.
The Kremlin is keen to secure long-term supply contracts with Europe via Nord Stream 2, which it says would help drive down gas prices.
Rosneft and Gazprom are both controlled by longtime allies of Putin.
Rosneft Managing Director Igor Sechin, who has been campaigning for market access for gas exports for years, argued that allowing him to export gas through Nord Stream 2 would help Russia earn more price revenue. gas records. It would also comply with EU energy regulations which oblige Gazprom to open half of Nord Stream 2’s capacity to third parties.
Gazprom is opposing the move, according to the report to Putin, on the grounds that high gas prices may not extend until next year. The Russian newspaper Kommersant first reported on the contents of the briefing to Putin.
Rosneft and Gazprom declined to comment. Russia’s Energy Ministry also declined to comment.
Amos Hochstein, senior energy security adviser at the US State Department, told the Financial Times this month that he feared “lives might be at stake” in Europe in the event of a harsh winter, in part because Russia had “under-supplied the market relative to its traditional supplies.”