Warmer weather is helping Europe reduce its dependence on Russian gas

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Mild weather in April helped countries reduce their dependence on Russian natural gas, with sales falling to their lowest level in three months.

Gazprom, the state’s energy giant, exported an average of 387 million cubic meters of gas a day to countries outside the former Soviet Union, up 22 percent from March.

European countries are reaping the benefits of liquefied natural gas at reduced prices due to subdued demand from Asia, including the impact of prisons in China as the continent prepares to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.

Moscow threatened on Wednesday suspend supplies to Poland and Bulgaria unless they have complied with President Vladimir Putin’s request that payments be made in rubles. Gazprom said on Sunday that it was still meeting its contractual obligations.

Ole Hvalbye, a raw material analyst at SEB, said Poland and Bulgaria were well prepared for the ban, as plans were already in place to divert it from Russian fuel.

“Although the effect of the complications for Poland and Bulgaria is clearly manageable, the suspension of Russian exports underscores Russia’s advantage,” he said.

In the first four months of the year, it shipped 50.1 billion cubic meters, which is 27 percent less than a year ago. Supplies to China via the Power of Siberia connection increased by 60 percent year-on-year as Beijing took advantage of reduced costs.

Rising energy costs have greatly increased the value of its production, meaning that Europe is actually paying Moscow around € 1 billion a day.

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