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Gas stocks in Europe fall 56%; Gazprom requests 42.4 mcm for transit via Ukraine
KYIV. March 16 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The level of gas inventories in storage facilities in Europe has fallen to 56.1%, or 61 billion cubic meters. Europe is actively saving gas, reducing consumption by industry. However, the current level is far from the all-time high seen in 2022.
Gas stocks are at their lowest at 30.95% in France, which is having to take a lot of gas out of storage due to strikes at LNG terminals. Inventories are also low in Belgium at 32% and Latvia at 35%.
Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine, or GTSOU, has accepted a booking from Gazprom today to transport 42.4 million cubic meters of gas through the country, the same as for Wednesday, data from the GTSOU show.
Capacity was requested only through one of two entry points into Ukraine’s Gas Transmission System, the Sudzha metering station. A request was not accepted through the Sokhranivka metering station.
Gas prices in Europe followed oil prices down on Wednesday. The day-ahead contract for today at the Dutch TTF gas hub in the Netherlands fell another 7% in the space of 24 hours and closed at $472 per 1,000 cubic meters.
The spread between LNG prices in Asia and those in Europe is noticeable. In Asia, the most expensive futures contract for April on the JKM Platts index is $506 per 1,000 cubic meters, and futures under the LNG North-West Europe Marker are $468 per 1,000 cubic meters.
Wind turbines provided 19% of the region’s electricity needs last week, with the figure jumping to 33.2% on Monday, but falling to 33.2% on Wednesday, according to WindEurope.
Current inventory levels in Europe’s underground gas storage (UGS) facilities have declined to 56.1%, which is 20 percentage points above the average for the same date over the past five years, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe.
Inventories contracted 0.16 percentage point during the gas day for March 14.
The relatively mild weather in October, November and January, in addition to the continent’s austerity measures, have resulted in the level of inventories in UGS facilities being at their highest for this time of year since records began.
European LNG terminals operated at 63% capacity in February, and 59% since the start of March, with the shutdown at France’s terminals because of the strike action spoiling the figure.
The state of gas in UGS facilities in the United States is of increasing importance for the global market, as the country is actively increasing gas exports.
Mild weather in the U.S. means reduced offtake. Inventories decreased 2.4 billion cubic meters for the latest reporting week, which is markedly less than the usual offtake for this time of the year.
The current level of inventories is around 42%, which is 21 percentage points higher than the five-year average, according to the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration. The current inventories are almost at a five-year high.
Freeport LNG, the United States’ largest LNG plant, has announced reopening all three liquefaction lines, thereby reducing the excess gas on the U.S. market and boosting supplies of LNG to the global market.