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Russia’s Gazprom hasn’t booked transit capacity for Monday for natural gas exports via a key pipeline route to Germany, which was sending gas eastwards for a sixth consecutive day.
Gazprom has not booked transit export capacity via the Yamal-Europe pipeline via Belarus to Poland and Germany for December 27, Reuters reported on Monday, citing results from a daily auction.
At the same time, gas on the Yamal-Europe pipeline was flowing in the reverse direction from Germany to Poland for a six consecutive day on Monday.
Typically, lower Russian gas deliveries to Europe would lead to a spike in Europe’s benchmark gas prices, but after setting a new record early last week, gas prices in Europe plunged later in the week and continued to slide on Monday, due to forecasts of milder weather, U.S. LNG cargoes flocking to Europe, and low trading activity around the Christmas holiday.
Last Tuesday, European gas prices jumped to an all-time high after gas on the Yamal-Europe pipeline reversed flow eastward and freezing temperatures took hold in many parts of Europe. The benchmark price for Europe at the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) surged by 11 percent to a record 162.78 euros per megawatt-hour on December 21.
As prices in Europe soared to records and pushed regional LNG prices way above the Asian LNG benchmark and 14 times higher than the U.S. Henry Hub price, tankers with liquefied natural gas from the United States headed to Europe. Ten LNG tankers from the U.S. have already declared Europe as their destination while another 20 cargoes appear to be crossing the Atlantic en route to Europe, according to shipping data compiled by Bloomberg.
At least another ten LNG cargoes have been diverted from Asia to Europe as European LNG prices are now much higher than the prices in Asia, industry sources told Reuters last week.
On Monday, EU gas prices dropped further, on the back of milder weather, LNG arrivals, and very illiquid markets, Ole Hansen, Head of Commodity Strategy at Saxo Bank, said, adding that European gas is “still way too expensive.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.