MOSCOW. March 21 (Interfax) - The spot price for gas in Europe has fallen to $434 per thousand cubic meters due to mild weather and weak demand.
This is the lowest price for more than 600 days, since July 2021.
Gas Transport System Operator of Ukraine, or GTSOU, has accepted a booking from Gazprom (MOEX: GAZP) today to transport 42.4 million cubic meters of gas through the country. The nomination was also 42.4 mcm on Friday but fell slightly over the weekend and on Monday, 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 42.4 mcm on March 21, 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 at the Dutch TTF gas hub in the Netherlands fell 6% in the space of 24 hours and closed at $434 per thousand 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 $470 per thousand cubic meters, and futures under the LNG North-West Europe Marker are $401 per thousand cubic meters.
Current inventory levels in Europe's underground gas storage (UGS) facilities are 55.75%, which is 21 percentage points above the average for the same date over the past five years, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe.
Inventories inched up 0.02 percentage point during the gas day for March 19.
European LNG terminals operated at 63% capacity in February, but 57% since the start of March due to the shutdown at France's terminals because of the strike action.
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 1.6 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 41%, which is 24 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 largest U.S. 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.
(Our editorial staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)