RUSSIA is denying it is withholding gas supplies to Europe and said it is in no rush to negotiate until November 1.
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Russian gas giant Gazprom was supplying gas to Europe at maximum levels under existing contracts and any increase would need to be negotiated with the company.
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“Nothing can be delivered beyond the contracts,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“How? For free? It is a matter of negotiating with Gazprom.”
Separately, deputy energy minister Pavel Sorokin said Russia had not changed its timetable for gas injection into storage facilities until November 1, implying it was in no hurry to supply additional gas to Europe on the spot market.
European gas prices have hit record levels this month, but the Kremlin has repeatedly denied that Russia is deliberately withholding supplies in order to exert pressure for quick regulatory approval of its new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Germany.
In the UK, Ofgem is said to be bracing itself for a fresh wave of supplier collapses as early as tomorrow as the wholesale price of gas remains at record highs.
A global shortage has caused it to rise by 250 percent since January.
Sky News reported that at least four suppliers were in talks with Ofgem today about entering its Supplier of Last Resort (SOLR) system.
The system means that a collapsed firm’s domestic customers are transferred over to a solvent company with no interruption to their supply.
Should it materialise the news would add several hundred thousand households to the toll of those impacted by soaring wholesale gas prices.
Industry sources said the decision of at least some of those four companies to cease trading could be announced as early as tomorrow.
They are thought to include Pure Planet, which has been left marooned by backer BP’s likely decision to terminate financial support to the company.
An executive at one of the UK’s biggest energy companies said they understood that the. “Brinkwire Summary News”.