Against the background of warm weather on the last day of the year, gas extraction from European underground storage facilities decreased to the level of 2012. The exchange price of gas in Europe on this day fell below $800 per 1 thousand cubic meters. m
On the last day of 2021, gas extraction from underground storage facilities (UGS) in Europe amounted to 136.6 million cubic meters. This is evidenced by data from Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE; an association that represents the interests of gas infrastructure operators in Europe), reports TASS. This is the lowest figure since 2012.
At the same time, gas injection on December 31 exceeded the volume of withdrawals from UGS for the second day in a row and amounted to 295.6 million cubic meters. This happened against the background of warm weather and the arrival of subtropical air masses in the region.
In December, the total volume of gas extraction from European storage facilities amounted to 15.63 billion cubic meters. This is the fourth highest indicator since 2011, when GIE began monitoring.
The fullness of European UGS decreased by 20.6 billion cubic meters compared to last year - to 60.38 billion cubic meters.
Last year, the exchange prices for gas in Europe updated the record several times. By December 21, the price of the January futures at the TTF hub in the Netherlands broke the historical maximum and reached $2,194 per 1 thousand cubic meters. m. Fitch experts attributed this to a reduction in pumping through the Yamal -Europe gas pipeline, information that the commissioning of the Nord Stream-2 is not expected before the second half of 2022, as well as news about a possible cooling in Europe. By December 27, the exchange price of gas had fallen to $1,160 per 1,000 cubic meters (€97.95 per 1 MWh).
On December 29, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller announced that the second line of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline had been completed with gas and the pipeline was fully ready for operation, he was awaiting approval from the European regulator.
Against this background, the exchange prices for gas continued to decline: on December 30, they fell below the mark of $1 thousand per 1 thousand cubic meters. On the last day of the year, the price of gas fell below $800 per 1 thousand cubic meters for the first time since November.
In an interview with RBC, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak named the reasons for the increase in gas prices in Europe in 2021: among them — the rejection of long-term contracts with Russia for gas supplies in favor of spot contracts, which in the summer, according to him, fuel supplies that needed to be pumped into underground gas storage moved to more favorable markets, a drop in own gas production, the cold winter of 2020/21 and the risk of a repeat of the cold weather.
Sources: Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE)
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