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1 Aug, 2023 13:02

German energy giant downbeat on Russian gas supplies

Uniper sued Gazprom last year, claiming damages caused by undelivered gas
German energy giant downbeat on Russian gas supplies

The CEO of Germany’s largest gas importer, Uniper, commented on Tuesday on the company’s current standoff with Russian energy giant Gazprom, according to media reports.

Michael Lewis spoke to reporters at a press conference following the company’s release of its earnings for the first half of the year.

Uniper launched arbitration proceedings against Gazprom Export (a subsidiary of Gazprom) last year, claiming damages due to undelivered gas supplies.

According to Lewis, Uniper is not expecting a ruling until at least next year, TASS news agency reported.

Lewis added that he does not expect Russian gas supplies to resume.

“At present, we really don’t see much possibility of Gazprom Export supplying gas again,” TASS quoted him as saying.

Last November, Uniper filed a claim with the Arbitration Tribunal in Stockholm to recover losses of €11.6 billion ($12.7 billion) from Gazprom Export for gas deliveries that were agreed under a contract but not made. That forced Uniper to buy “replacement gas” from other suppliers at “extremely high market prices.”

Gazprom denied Uniper’s accusations that it had violated the terms of the contract. The German government seized the Russian company’s subsidiary and gas storage facilities last year. Uniper took over the facilities and Gazprom was never compensated. In December, the German authorities nationalized Uniper after the company incurred losses due to the loss of Russian supplies.

Russia’s natural gas deliveries to the EU have reduced dramatically since last year. Over the last summer, the Nord Stream pipeline, which was once the main artery transporting Russian gas to Germany, saw a string of technical and maintenance issues linked to Western sanctions. The pipeline was eventually shut down in early September. Later that month, the undersea pipeline was damaged by explosions, which are still being investigated.

Russia still supplies certain buyers in the EU via a transit line through Ukraine and the TurkStream pipeline through Türkiye.

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