By Thomas Catenacci
Daily Caller News Foundation
Russia has steadily decreased the supply of natural gas delivered to Europe over the last few weeks without explanation, according to an industry analysis reviewed by CNBC.
The decreased natural gas exports occurred shortly after the U.S. and Germany agreed to the completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will transport gas from Russia to Europe. Slowing the supply of gas to Europe, which relies on imports for energy, could potentially be a power play by Russian state-owned firm Gazprom, according to researchers for the Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS), the firm that published the analysis, CNBC reported.
“Gazprom is readying itself for starting Nord Stream 2 and it is hoping to exert an element of leverage in terms of trying to make sure that when all the regulatory t’s get crossed and i’s get dotted, that that process is as swift as possible,” ICIS European gas analyst Tom Marzec-Manser told CNBC.
“If there is less gas around than normal and the price is high then it may streamline that process,” he continued.
Earlier this year, Gazprom reduced gas supply to Europe by about 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to an Atlantic Council report in July that supported ICIS’ more recent findings. Russia cut exports as leverage and to force Germany to approve Nord Stream 2,