According to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), Gazprom has significantly increased gas transmission via Nord Stream since 22 December. Almost all additional gas volumes passed through the OPAL pipeline. Meanwhile, the volume of transmission through Ukraine has fallen dramatically. At that, the combined daily supplies to Europe via the two routes remained stable.

Starting from 22 December, the daily use of Nord Stream–OPAL route has grown from 57.1 mcm to 80.5 mcm (by 41%). As a result, Gazprom increased the use of OPAL from 50% to over 80% of its capacity.

During the same period, volumes of gas transmitted through Ukraine’s GTS towards Slovakia have fallen from 148.9 mcm to 120.8 mcm per day (-19%). Total daily transmission by the Ukrainian route and Nord Stream–OPAL on 28 compared to 22 December was nearly the same (201.3 mcm against 206.0 mcm (-2%).

ENTSOG data suggest that there is a connection between the increase in OPAL use and the decline in transit through Ukraine and Slovakia. This challenges the statement that the decision of the European Commission on Gazprom’s wider access to OPAL and its exemption from the standard European legislation will not lead to a decrease in Russian gas transit through Ukraine.

The current situation suggests that Gazprom is making deliberate actions to decrease transit through Ukraine’s gas transmission system.