Austria may be left without gas from Russia

If a court in the EU forces OMV to suspend payments to Gazprom, then Austria may lose Russian gas supplies.
Origin source
The European Court may force the suspension of payments from the Austrian oil and gas company OMV to Gazprom. This follows from her message to traders.

According to the importer, the court decision, if enforced in Austria against OMV, will require the company to pay under the contract for the supply of gas by Gazprom Export to another European energy company instead of a Gazprom subsidiary. According to the importer, the warning is related to “a foreign court decision received by a large European energy company.” “It is currently unknown whether or when such enforcement may occur,” the Austrian company added.

OMV believes that if this happens, Gazprom Export will likely stop supplying gas under the contract, which will affect the Austrian gas market. “This assessment is based on the behavior of Gazprom Export in similar situations,” is how the Austrian importer explained his forecast.

OMV promises, despite the potential problem, to supply its customers with gas from “alternative, non-Russian sources.” OMV purchases gas from its own production facilities in Norway and Austria, as well as from other resource producers, including under contracts for the supply of LNG, which is regasified at the GATE terminal in Rotterdam.

Bloomberg reported that over the past seven months, Gazprom has provided more than 80% of Austrian imports under a long-term contract that runs until 2040. According to Kleine Zeitung, 98% of gas imports in Austria in December 2023 came from Russian supplies; in January 2024, this figure dropped to 97%, and in February - to 87%.

The state regulator of the electricity and natural gas markets in Austria, E-Control, said that the cessation of supplies from Russia could lead to a “short-term” increase in gas prices.

Earlier, Kleine Zeitung reported that the head of the Austrian Ministry of Energy, Leonore Gewessler, had prepared a bill that would provide for a complete phase-out of Russian gas by the 2027–2028 “gas year.” In February, she said that she intended to explore options for terminating gas supply contracts between OMV and Gazprom.

The RePowerEU program assumes that all EU countries are required to completely abandon Russian gas by 2027.

In March, Gazprom filed a claim against OMV in the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, which prohibited OMV Exploration & Production, a subsidiary of OMV, from pursuing a dispute abroad with Gazprom. The dispute concerned the losses claimed by the Austrian company due to shortfalls in gas supplies. Gazprom Export did not recognize the violation of contracts and the legality of Uniper’s stated claims for damages.