Russia’s gas giant Gazprom said on Tuesday it had approved and started implementing a plan to send natural gas into five storage sites in Europe, sending European gas prices down today after a spike on Monday.
The volumes and the transportation routes for the gas flows have been determined, Gazprom said in a brief statement, easing concerns on the market and sending prices lower on Tuesday morning.
Natural gas prices at the Dutch TTF hub, the benchmark for European gas, traded 2 percent lower early on Tuesday, “with data signaling an increase in Russian gas flows via Ukraine to Slovakia. Also the Mallnow link via Poland has seen a small pickup,” Ole Hansen, Head of Commodity Strategy at Saxo Bank, said.
On Monday, natural gas prices at the key European hubs surged as no additional Russian supply was flowing to Europe at the start of this week.
Russia had signaled at the end of October that Gazprom would start filling its storage sites in Europe within days.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller on October 27 that as soon as the Russian gas giant completes filling Russia’s underground storage by or on November 8, “I would like you to start consistent and planned work on increasing the amount of gas in your underground depots in Europe – in Austria and Germany,” per the English translation on the Kremlin website.
On November 8, there was no sign that Gazprom would boost natural gas deliveries to Europe, which sent prices soaring again.
The Kremlin doesn’t see “any violations of the order given by Russian President Vladimir Putin to increase gas injection into underground storage facilities in Europe, but the questions should be addressed to Gazprom, Russian Presidential Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday,” Russian news agency TASS reported on Monday.
On Tuesday, gas flows on the Yamal-Europe pipeline were flowing again to Germany, after more than a week of reverse flows eastward to Poland or stop of the flows, according to German data cited by Reuters.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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