MOSCOW. Jan 20 (Interfax) - Wind-power generation in Europe has declined four consecutive days to an average of 17% in the continent's share of energy balance on Thursday from 35% last Sunday.
The European spot price remains below $700 per thousand cubic meters of gas despite selling for double this price just last summer for injecting into underground gas storage (UGS) facilities.
Prices for supplying LNG carry an "Asian premium" of over 30% compared to supplies to Europe.
The Gas Transport System Operator of Ukraine, or GTSOU, has accepted a booking from Gazprom today to transport 24.4 million cubic meters of gas through the country against 24.4 mcm the previous day, data from the GTSOU show.
Capacity was requested only through one of two entry points into Ukraine's Gas Transport System, the Sudzha metering station. A request was not accepted through the Sokhranovka metering station.
"Gazprom is supplying Russian gas for transit through the territory of Ukraine at the volume confirmed by the Ukraine side via the Sudzha metering station at 24.4 mcm on January 20, with booking via the Sokhranovka metering station declined," Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told reporters.
The GTSOU has declared a force majeure with respect to acceptance of gas for transit through Sokhranovka, claiming that it cannot control the Novopskov compressor station. The route through Sokhranovka had provided transit of more than 30 mcm of gas per day.
Gazprom believes that there are no grounds for the force majeure or obstacles to continuing operations as before.
The day-ahead contract for today at the Dutch TTF gas hub in the Netherlands has closed at $684 per thousand cubic meters.
Prices for supplying LNG carry an "Asian premium" of over 30% compared to supplies to Europe. In Asia, the most expensive futures contract for March on the JKM Platts index remains substantially higher at $819 per thousand cubic meters on the heels of European prices, while futures under the LNG North-West Europe Marker are $602 per thousand cubic meters.
Power generation from wind turbines in Europe dipped to 17% yesterday, the lowest figure since January 3, following an average of 29% last week, according to data from WindEurope.
Current inventory levels in Europe's underground gas storage (UGS) facilities have declined to 80.09%, which is 20 percentage points above the average for the same date over the past five years, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE).
Reserves contracted 0.50 percentage point during the gas day for January 18, the highest figure for the past 30 days.
However, the relatively mild weather in October and November and thus far in January, in addition to the continent's austerity measures, have resulted in the level of reserves in UGS facilities being at an all-time high for this time of year since monitoring began, thereby underpinning the authorities' confidence in getting through the winter in good shape.
European LNG terminals have been operating at 62% capacity since the beginning of January against an average of 67% in December.
Germany opened its second LNG receiving terminal on the Baltic coast at Lubmin last weekend in addition to the terminal at Wilhelmshaven, though the Netherlands' recently opened Eemshaven terminal has closed at least until the end of January owing to damage to the heating supply system.
The state of gas in UGS facilities in the United States is of increasing importance for the global market, and the country is actively increasing gas exports, primarily to Europe.
The latest reporting week ending January 13, 2023, again witnessed a reduction of 200 million cubic meters. The reason for these unusual figures has been owing to the warm weather and an unexpectedly quick recovery in production following the cold-induced disruption in late December.
The current level of inventories is around 59%, which is nearly in line with the average figure for the past five years, according to the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration.
The EIA currently expects UGS stocks to drop by 60 billion cubic meters this winter to the average for the last five years. Natural gas volumes in storage facilities should total 40 bcm by the end of March, which would be 8% below the average for five years.
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