Beast from the East 2 empties EU's natural gas storage facilities

The cold front, known as Beast from the East 2, continues devastating underground gas storage facilities in Europe. As of Sunday morning, February 14, EU storage facilities were 42.65 percent full, Interfax reports, citing data from the Gas Infrastructure Europe. The figure was 4.86 points below average for the last five years.

Natural gas reserves on the main gas market in Europe - in Germany - decreased to 34.17 percent, in Austria - to 45.28 percent, the Czech Republic - to 41.08 percent, Poland - to 52.27 percent. The biggest decline was in France, where reserves dropped to 30.07 percent.

Gazprom expects higher gas price

Gazprom views the current situation positively. The company expects to raise the price to $200 per thousand cubic meters, although earlier the budgeted price was set at $170. Such expectations are associated with record natural gas supplies of 19.4 billion cubic meters last month, which was 45 percent more than last year and 18 percent more than the average for the past five years.

At the same time, the Russian gas monopoly believes that a few months later, when the cold weather passes, gas supplies will still be above average. The company uses the Ukrainian transit route at a minimum level and stimulates the withdrawal of natural gas from underground storage facilities in Europe. Therefore, in order to fill them again, European importers will have to buy natural gas from Russia.

With the arrival of "Beast from the East 2", blizzards hit Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. On February 11, Scotland  saw temperatures of -23 degrees Centigrade, which was a record low in 25 years.