Pipe systems of the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline
Gas supplies are flowing to Germany from Russia again after maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, but how well filled are the country's gas storage facilities? Is the country successfully reducing its reliance on Moscow? You can follow the data with our live tracker.
Russia, Norway and Algeria rely primarily on pipelines to transport their natural gas to the European Union, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. For weeks, the focus has been on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which runs from Russia across the Baltic Sea to Lubmin, Germany, near the city of Greifswald. Russia had throttled gas supplies in June before cutting them altogether on July 11 to allow for routine annual maintenance. Despite concerns that it might not do so, Russia resumed gas deliveries through the Baltic Sea pipeline last week. But how much gas can Germany count on flowing through the pipeline now that repairs are complete? The following graphic shows the hourly deliveries in recent weeks.
Four main routes lead from Russia to the European Union: In addition to Nord Stream 1, these are the Yamal-Europe pipeline running through Belarus and Poland, and the Progress and Soyuz pipelines through Ukraine, as well as the Turkstream via Turkey in the south (see the map below). No gas has been flowing through Yamal pipeline since mid-May, after Russia halted deliveries. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is imported through various port terminals, most of which are located in Western Europe. The charts below the map show gas supplies from Russia measured at the entry points to neighboring countries.
Europe’s most important natural gas suppliers are Russia, Norway and Algeria, but LNG is also imported from other countries around the world. Deliveries are usually made by special tankers bound for ports with LNG terminals. The share of imports from Russia has fallen in recent months, but LNG deliveries have increased overall.
Gas storage facilities serve as important reserves for the winter, but also as interim storage for large LNG deliveries. If all of Germany's storage facilities were filled to the brim, their gas volume of around 24 billion cubic meters wouldn’t even cover one-third of Germany's annual demand, which was 86 billion cubic meters in 2020 . To get through the winter unscathed, Germany thus needs not only for its storage facilities to be as full as possible, but also continuous supplies from pipelines or LNG terminals.
Dependence on Russia has been particularly high in Eastern Europe and Germany in recent years. These countries are often located directly along Russian pipelines and usually don’t have their own LNG terminals or pipelines to other major gas exporters like Norway or Algeria. In absolute quantities, Germany has recently consumed the largest total volume of Russian gas of any European country.
Overall, Russia has supplied less gas to Europe in recent months than in previous years. Still, revenues from gas exports have increased. This is due to the sharp increase in global market prices. The main cause of the turbulence on the gas market is the conflict over Ukraine, which Russia has been waging as a war of aggression since February 2022.
Daily gas volumes by origin are seven-day averages. They are based on data from ENTSOG , the association of European pipeline operators. ENTSOG measures the flow of gas through pipelines at many points throughout Europe, including LNG terminals, meaning that liquefied natural gas imports are also covered in the figures. The gas volumes include all deliveries to Europe – meaning the European Union, but also, for example, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Gas deliveries from Russia to Europe can occur via four main routes. Gas flows are recorded separately for all four routes. The data has been supplied by ENTSOG .
The Brussels think tank Bruegel has calculated the shares of imports from Russia for all EU states using data from ENTSOG . The total amount of consumption per country comes from data from the European statistical authority Eurostat .
The Finnish think tank CREA records Russia's gas exports by pipeline, by ship (LNG) and by rail. Export earnings are estimated based on the quantities delivered using the current market price for the period in question. More information on the CREA methodology is provided by the Russia Fossil Tracker.
The gas infrastructure industry operators' association EIG publishes data on the levels at storage facilities in the EU on the transparency portal GIE-AGSI+ .