Operations of the European gas industry are realigning with the changing season, with the warming spring temperatures in Europe and declining prices on the spot market resulting in importers reducing off-take of Russian gas.
According to the data of Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine, nomination for April 26 is 56 million cubic meters, and bookings for April 25 totaled 68.4 million cubic meters.
Rising temperatures and seasonally declining gas consumption allow importers to return to the flexible optimization of booking volumes from suppliers depending on the cost. Gas imported under a month-ahead contract – Gazprom has about half of its exports pegged to this contract – in April is around $1,400 per thousand cubic meters. A day-ahead contract on the spot market is currently $1,050 per thousand cubic meters. Therefore, buyers are increasing their purchases on the spot market, and reducing off-take on record-breaking long-term contracts.
Gas actually flowing via the Yamal-Europe pipeline between Germany and Poland has been continuously pumping in reverse mode since April 7. On Tuesday, the reverse flow of gas from Germany to Poland has dropped 66.7% to 200,000 cubic meters per hour, according to data from the Gascade gas transport operator. Off-take of additional volumes of gas from the main European hubs instead of direct imports from the east is another factor in the current high gas prices in the European Union.
Wind farms provided an average of 17% of the electricity generation in the European Union last week from April 18 to 24, with the figure falling to 9.5% on Monday, according to data from the WindEurope association.
Europe has begun injecting gas into its underground gas storage (UGS) facilities. The current stock level is 31.57%, an increase of 0.33 percentage points over the past day. The current stockpile in the UGS facilities in Europe is 6.3 percentage points behind the five-year average. High prices for imported gas have restrained injection in April.
According to the decree of the Russian president, the government as of April has introduced a new procedure for paying for Russian gas supplies that stipulates the obligatory conversion of the contract currency into rubles through Gazprombank.