The Ministry of Energy has resumed the re-export of natural gas from Ukraine by amending order No. 99 dated March 3, 2022, by which re-export was previously stopped due to Russian aggression, Ukrtransgaz JSC, the operator of gas storage facilities in Ukraine, said on Tuesday.
“The changes apply to gas that will be imported into Ukraine from April 3, 2022 for further storage in underground gas storages in the “customs warehouse” mode, including transportation at a special short-haul rate,” the company informed.
At the same time, as Ukrtransgaz explained, gas imported into Ukraine before April 3, 2022 is still subject to a ban on re-export, but it can be cleared through customs and sold in the country.
“We welcome the decision to resume the re-export of natural gas from Ukraine. The restoration of re-export operations is an important signal for our foreign customers of services, who currently operate in 27 countries. We hope that in the new gas injection season they will consider Ukrainian gas storage facilities as a platform for storing natural gas.” – said Serhiy Pereloma, Acting General Director of Ukrtransgaz.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba discussed with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock the issues of toughening sanctions against the Russian Federation and strengthening the defense capability of Ukraine, and also thanked the German side for refusing to a demand of the Russian Federation to pay for energy in Russian currency.
“I spoke with Annalena Baerbock and thanked Germany for refusing to pay for Russian natural gas exports in rubles. Emphasized the need to impose new stiff sanctions on Russia. Informed on the frontline developments. The need to further strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities is urgent,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU) has started accepting the first cargoes with technology and humanitarian aid from European colleagues, the company’s press service reported on Saturday.
According to the press service, the Belgian operator Fluxys provided equipment for centering during pipe welding, the Bulgarian Bulgartransgaz EAD – six tonnes of welding electrodes now in short supply in Ukraine for the repair of main pipelines, the German ONTRAS – humanitarian goods (mats, sleeping bags, etc.).
In addition, a scheme has been agreed with the German operator OGE (Open Grid Europe) for the emergency delivery of special equipment and repair kits for fireless tapping and connection of bypasses in case of damage.
Also, cargoes from six more GTS operators are already being formed for shipment.
In general, since the beginning of the Russian military aggression, GTSOU has received proposals for technical assistance from 15 GTS operators from 13 countries (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Italy, France, the UK).
“We are thankful to our international colleagues for the support, as well as the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine, USAID for assistance in obtaining critical materials. Thanks to all of you, GTSOU continues to supply gas to Ukrainian consumers,” the company said.
The length of the main gas pipelines managed by GTSOU is 33,079 km, the number of compressor stations is 57, and the number of gas distribution stations is 1,395.
Pumping capacity via the Ukrainian gas-transit corridor has remained at yesterday’s level for European consumers.
“Gazprom is supplying Russian gas for transit via Ukraine as usual as per the bookings of European consumers at 94.6 million cubic meters on March 17,” Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told reporters.
According to the data of the Gas Transmission System (GTS) Operator of Ukraine, the nomination for March 17 is 95 million cubic meters, and bookings for March 16 totaled 94.5 million cubic meters.
The Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, which pumps gas through Belarus and Poland to Germany, switched to reverse mode on Tuesday and will continue pumping gas from Germany to Poland on Wednesday. Gazprom did not book any capacity along the Polish section of the pipeline either for the regular session or for the additional night session. Gas supplies from Germany to Poland, meaning off-take of additional volumes from the main European hubs, are another component of the current high prices in the EU.
Electricity generation from renewable sources is declining once again this week. The contribution of wind generation to the energy balance of Europe averaged 17% for the week of March 7 to 13; on Monday, and it has averaged 12% over the three days of this week, according to data from the WindEurope association. The weather forecast for the next few days should be calm.
Capacity utilization of Ukraine’s transit corridor on Friday remains at the same high level, in line with the long-term contract volumes of 40 billion cubic meters per year or 109 million cubic meters per day.
European buyers have increased nominations for Gazprom’s gas after prices soared due to the imposition of sanctions on Russia. Gas prices at the TTF hub were $1,383 per thousand cubic meters on Friday morning.
“Gazprom is supplying Russian gas for transit via Ukraine as scheduled in accordance with the requests of European consumers – 109.5 mcm on March 11,” the company’s official spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov told reporters.
As confirmed by data from the Ukrainian GTS Operator, the nomination for March 11 is 109.4 mcm, while that for March 10 was also 109.4 mcm.
The spot price for gas in Europe continues to soar and is already 57% above Tuesday’s closing.
Prices for the nearest, April futures contracts at the TTF hub have broken the $2,000-mark, rising first to $2,011 and then an all-time high of $2,227 per thousand cubic meters on Wednesday afternoon, the previous high being $2,138 on December 21. These contracts closed Tuesday at $1,418, according to ICE Futures exchange data.
But that appears to have been the peak, with prices swinging down on news of a new short-term booking for Yamal-Europe pipeline capacity from 3:00 p.m. Moscow time until the end of the gas day. So far it looks like there will be an additional 0.8 million cubic meters per hour, which is 20% of the pipe’s capacity, in which case an additional 15 mcm of Gazprom gas will be delivered to Europe by morning.
The average TTF price on February was $935.
Apart from the Ukraine crisis, gas prices have risen in Europe due to an abrupt drop in temperatures this week and in wind power generation.