Russia further reduces gas supplies to Austria
Austria's OMV said Monday that Gazprom was further reducing the supply of gas, as the Russian giant began 10 days of routine maintenance on its Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
"OMV has been informed by Gazprom about a reduction in the gas supply. This means for today a reduction of about 70 percent of the amount that arrives at the Baumgarten natural gas hub" near the Slovak border, the group said in a statement emailed to AFP.
Austria's state-run gas company OMV currently receives around 70 percent less than the contracted amount, the firm's spokesman Andreas Rinofner told Austrian media. Since mid-June, the Russian gas giant had delivered about half of the ordered quantity.
Rinofner says that the issue of whether Austria's storage tanks can be filled despite the supply problems depends on the daily consumption and purchase on the spot markets.
Austria has been looking for alternative sources of the much-needed gas, which the alpine country depends on for much of its heating and industry needs.
As an "emergency measure", Austria is getting ready to reopen a coal-fuelled power station near Graz amid fears there will be disruptions to the gas supply from Russia this winter, as reported.
Austria's emergency plan
Austria is currently with an early warning level for its gas emergency plan, as The Local reported. This level is reached if there are concrete and reliable indications that the gas supply could deteriorate. But there is no immediate impact on average Austrians.
The alert system was activated back in March, following Russia's announcement that gas deliveries would only be paid for with rubles, the Russian currency. Kremlin's threat did not come to fruition, but Moscow has slowly decreased the amount of natural gas it sends to European countries.
The Austrian government has accused the Vladimir Putin administration of "weaponising" energy.
Austria sources 80 percent of its gas from Russia, so the country would be seriously impacted if supplies were disrupted due to the war in Ukraine, a breakdown of diplomatic relations or any other unforeseen event.