Gazprom starts pumping gas into European storage facilities
Russia's Gazprom announced on November 9 that it had started pumping gas into its underground storage facilities in Europe, after finishing stockpiling supplies in Russia.
"Gazprom approved and began implementation of the plan for pumping gas into five European underground storage facilities in November," the company reported.
The gas supplier previously said it would start stockpiling gas at its facilities outside of Russia after November 8, as instructed by Russian president Vladimir Putin. Gazprom estimated on October 27 that the company had as little as 190,000 m3 of gas stockpiled in its storage facilities in Europe, which include four sites in Germany, one in Austria, one in Serbia and one in the Czech Republic.
Analysts at VTB Capital (VTBC) commented in a research note on November 9 that while Gazprom had started injecting gas into storage in Europe, its overall gas supplies to Europe have not grown significantly. The company has declined to book additional gas transit capacity via Ukraine, and westbound gas flow via the Yamal-Europe pipeline has been intermittent, with the pipeline flowing in reverse for a number of days in the past two weeks.
"We still believe that the drop in pumping through the Yamal-Europe pipeline might be explained by the actual gas requests of European gas consumers, which could be partially driven by the slightly warmer weather during the last two weeks and elevated gas prices," VTBC said.
While Gazprom says it is meeting its contractual supply obligations, it has declined from selling extra gas on the spot market. The company's export arm reported on November 8 that it had not scheduled any auctions at its electronic sales platform this week.
The December gas delivery contract at the Dutch TTF hub is down 3% from yesterday's session, at €76.7 ($88.9)/MWh.