Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 03:35:39 PM EST
Germany's Economy Minister Robert Habeck warned against Europe's No.1 economy becoming a "pawn" in Russia's game. Natural gas stockpiles across the EU are at their lowest in years as tensions over Ukraine intensify.
False representation of facts in behest of Biden's war on the European consumer for American interests only.
Ukrainian gas storage facilities can become a 'gas safe' for Europe says PM Denys Shmyhal | Nov. 22, 2021 |
Natural Gas Stockpiles Across the EU
A falsehood as the researchers of European energy supply and demand, stockpiles and failure of countries to renew contracts with Gazprom for delivery. Key nations blocked delivery of Russian gas to heighten the tension for the rest of Europe, specifically Poland and the Yamal pipeline and Ukraine that was in a long negotiation with Gazprom for a long-term gas transport contact. As the allied powers blocked supply though Nord Stream 2, and high demand in Asia, much of Russian gas and LNG supply by tankers were heading to the Far East. Furthermore Poland thought it opportune to start a lawsuit vs. Gazprom.
Europe's gas crisis: Could LNG help boost energy security? | DW News - Jan. 20, 2022 |
"Current inventories are about 47% of full capacity," Bernd Weidensteiner, senior economist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, told DW. "Normal for this time of the year is about 60% ... so we are significantly lower."
Indeed, a Commerzbank graphic posted to Twitter shows that, in previous years, EU inventories have ranged from 60% to more than 85% in January.
Plus for Putin: The natural gas storage facilities in the EU are currently only about 55% full - significantly less than the long-term average. Deliveries of liquefied natural gas, which are transported by tankers, could not quickly replace missing Russian gas.
The year 2020 was a low demand due to the global pandemic and the winter 2020/21 was severe across Europe with a higher demand. The vaccinated powers came out of the Corona crisis late Summer 2021 with an upsurge for demand and Europe falling behind the demand by the Asian countries. The US has become a fossil fuel exporter, thus in a comfortable seat of economic power. It are the European nations themselves responsible for the gas contracts and timely supply for their stockpiles. Brussels has deregulated the production and transport of gas from government level to private business. "To advance competition in the market and benefit the consumer." Just an ugly blame game and pointing fingers at our common "enemy".
Poland to buy spot gas once Gazprom contract ends | Argus Media - Sept. 21, 2021 |
Poland is preparing to buy gas on the European spot markets when its long-term 10.2bn m³/yr contract with Russian state-controlled Gazprom expires at the end of next year, although it expects most of its supply to come from the newly-built 10bn m³/yr Baltic Pipe pipeline and LNG imports.
The Polish minister did not rule out the possibility of the tightness in European gas market persisting by the time the Polish deal with Gazprom expires. Poland's gas supply focus will therefore be imports from Norway through the under-construction Baltic Pipe terminal and imports of LNG through the Swinoujscie terminal as well as the planned floating storage and regasification unit in Gdansk, which will start operating by 2028.
Poland shuts down Yamal-Europe Pipeline as it switches to alternate suppliers LNG from Qatar, Norway and USA. Gas spot price surges to new record.
A contentious and highly incorrect content. Lies and Russophobia in DW News ... I can imagine Moscow banned the German site in retaliation of German government banning the propaganda mouth Russia Today earlier.
Germany must cut reliance on Russian gas, minister says | DW News - Feb. 5, 2022 |
The Kremlin was accused of weaponizing its gas exports when it slashed deliveries to Europe through existing pipelines.
What did Habeck say?
"We must improve our preparedness for next winter," the Green Party politician told the newspapers of the Funke Media Group and the French regional daily Ouest-France.
Habeck said the Ukraine crisis is forcing Germany to "create other import opportunities and to diversify its supply, including infrastructural issues."
"We have to act here and better secure ourselves. If we don't, we become a pawn in the game [of Russia]." [or any foreign power as far as I'm concerned - Oui]
Europe was already struggling with an energy crunch when Russia's state-controlled Gazprom slashed gas deliveries to the bloc in October, sending soaring prices higher still.
Last month, Commerzbank warned that stockpiles of natural gas across EU countries were at just 47%, compared to between 60% and 85% in previous years.
Describing the shortfall, Habeck said: "The last few weeks and the conflict in eastern Ukraine have increased our concern that Russia is also using its gas supplies against German interests."
He went on to criticize the gas market for being completely deregulated and hinted that the government may have to play a greater role.
What is the truth in the warning from Commerzbank ... simply analyse the numbers w/o wearing political sunglasses. See articles below ...
Supply-side factors in the European gas price rally in 2021 and outlook for the rest of winter | Oxford Energy |
European gas prices have been on a rollercoaster ride in the past two years. In 2019, oversupply on the global LNG market led to a gradual price decline that was subsequently intensified by the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe in Q2-2020. This decline in prices was analysed in a series of papers at OIES by Mike Fulwood and in our regular OIES Quarterly Gas Review series. As summer turned to autumn in 2020, prices recovered, but with European storage once again effectively full at the start of winter, the seasonal price increase remained modest.
In mid-winter 2020/21, a rolling wave of particularly cold weather spread across the northern hemisphere. In January 2021, it led to an Asian LNG pricing spike.6 In February, snow storms impacted US Gulf Coast LNG exports, with cargo loadings being completely suspended for several days. In Europe, spells of unusually cold weather occurred repeatedly between February and May, interspersed with shorter spells of warmer weather. Finally, in March, the Suez Canal was blocked for a week as a container ship, the Ever Given, became lodged, causing further (albeit brief) LNG market disruption.
Given that the European market did not experience any sustained pricing surges in Q1-2021 despite the global market conditions noted above, the fact that European prices subsequently rose continuously throughout the summer of 2021 took many by surprise, given that plentiful storage stocks had allowed Europe to cope with the winter developments noted above. By 21 June 2021, the TTF Front-Month price was at its absolute highest since January 2014, and its highest summer price since mid-2013 (29.40 /MWh - $10.27 /MMBtu). Thereafter, the bull run continued until it peaked at 117 /MWh ($39.83 /MMBtu) on 5 October, before falling back slightly to around $30 /MMBtu, as illustrated in Figure 1.
In the two months since then, TTF Front-Month prices have experienced extreme volatility, falling by 52.70 /MWh (45 per cent) between 5 and 29 October, before rebounding and stabilising again at around 90 /MWh ($30 /MMBtu). The period of stability lasted until the beginning of December, when prices again surged, reaching 127.40 /MWh on 14 December. As Europe moves towards the coldest part of winter (January-February), uncertainty remains over whether prices will continue rising as mid-winter seasonal demand tightens the market, or whether the recent bull run has effectively `priced in' a cold winter similar to that of 2020/21 and, by extension, a mild Q1-2022 could see prices either stabilise or even decline.
Russia denies responsibility for Europe's winter energy crisis | World Oil - Jan. 18, 2022 |
Russia has nothing to do with the energy crisis in Europe, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said, rejecting allegations from the International Energy Agency that it's holding back supplies and driving up prices of natural gas.
"Neither Russia nor our main exporter Gazprom have anything to do with this," Novak told state television Saturday, according to the Interfax news agency. Russia has "delivered significantly more" to clients such as Germany and Turkey that had exhausted their contracted limits, he said.
Novak blamed "the shortsighted policy of the European Union and European Commission, which for many years has deliberately moved away from long-term contracts, shifted its energy sector toward reducing dependence on Russia."
Europe is grappling with an energy crunch that's resulted in gas and power prices breaking multiple records over the past few months. The continent's gas inventories are already at their lowest in more than a decade, and the two coldest months of the year have only just begun.
Russia is ready to increase deliveries, Novak said, but needs long-term contracts to justify making investments in production.
Novak was responding to comments earlier this week from IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, who accused Russia of holding back supplies to the spot market despite high prices. He said Russia could boost deliveries by at least a third.
France has presidency of the EU Council Ministre de la Transition écologique Barbara Pompili
Volatility and rising gas prices has everything to do with US and European political intrigues with warmongering about Ukraine. Using fossil fuel once again to foster a war. Shame.
Europe temperatures and gas inventories | Reuters John Kemp - Feb. 2, 2022 |
US Domestic Performance
U.S. distillate fuel oil inventories have fallen to the lowest seasonal level for eight years, a sign of booming manufacturing and freight transportation demand.
Distillate shortages are another manifestation of the supply chain bottlenecks that are fuelling inflation around the world as the economy expands rapidly after the coronavirus recession.
Low distillate inventories will boost demand for crude oil and are likely to put upward pressure on prices over the next few months as refiners and distributors try to rebuild them to a more comfortable level.
OPEC and Global Oil Supply and Demand
Is Europe destined to be guided by violence and fear? The American Dream is for the wealthy few with some exceptions, but it's not a nation of equal opportunity. Just open the pages of US national news outlets and screaming headlines of violence, racism, hate towards LGBT community, minorities and a major political party run by misogynists. Europe should be focused on its very own foundation and work towards internal unity. Cut the BS of warmongering and propaganda by war hawks.
Europe was already struggling with an energy crunch when Russia's state-controlled Gazprom slashed natural gas deliveries to the bloc in October, sending soaring prices higher still.
Europe's energy security threatened
Just as German and US diplomats have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against escalating the crisis, leaders on both sides of the Atlantic are growing anxious about the vulnerability of Europe's energy security.
If Putin were to cut off natural gas supplies during a military conflict or in retaliation for any future Western sanctions, Bernd Weidensteiner warned that "some [European] inventories might run extremely low."
To help ease demand for gas to heat and power homes and businesses, last month some 10 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) that were destined for Asia were diverted to Europe.
Energy Policies and Risks on Energy Markets -- A Cost-Benefit Analysis
The general picture following from the cases studied is that security of supply measures are hardly ever beneficial to welfare: benefits of policy measures do generally not outweigh costs. From an economic point of view, therefore, it would be often wiser to accept consequences of supply disruptions than to pursue security of supply at any cost. This implies that governments should exercise caution in imposing measures regarding security of supply. If serious market failure is detected, careful attention should be paid to the design of the corrective measure. Establishing and maintaining well-functioning markets appears to be an efficient approach in realising a secure supply of energy. That approach would include removal of entry barriers, securing equal access to essential facilities and increasing transparency of markets.
From one crisis in capitalism to the next as inequality between the very rich and middle-class surges ... called voodoo Reaganomics "the trickle down" economy. No taxation for the very brightest in society.
Natural Gas EU Dutch TTF (EUR)
EU natural gas prices steadied around 80 per megawatt-hour on Friday amid a backdrop of tightening Russian supplies. After a sharp rebound to December levels in natural gas flowing into Slovakia earlier this week, volumes fell sharply again on Thursday, Milder weather across Europe, strong wind power generation, and ongoing arrivals of LNG shipments to the region capped gains, as utilities are pushing to restock their natural gas inventories. Still, the balance of risks remained tilted to the upside, with traders uneasy about the possibility that Russia could halt supplies, as tensions with the West over Ukraine were still high. The bloc is drawing up contingency plans and
Dutch British oil and gas giant Shell has pledged to help ease a potential energy crisis in the continent. On a weekly basis, the contract is headed for a 12% loss.
Analysis by pelgus - Poland Surges Towards Energy Sovereignty
AFAIK, Russia provides 40% of the NG Europe uses (100% for some countries and 1% for some) and 30% of the crude. So EU is pretty dependent and can't find replacement energy within a decade or so - if at all.
I don't see a war in Ukraine possible, unless Ukraine does something very, very stupid (which is always a possibility).
Russia has nothing to gain but a lot to lose in that conflict, while it does have some "red lines". Considering that Putin got USA administration talking about Minks Accords again, I would expect slow turn towards de-escalation in Ukraine.
From my previous diary, negotiations between Gazprom and Russia were well under way until US/NATO interference ...
Ukraine asks Gazprom to extend gas transit deal for 15 years | BNE - Nov. 24, 2021 |
Ukraine has asked Russia's gas behemoth Gazprom to extend the current gas transit deal that expires in 2024 for another 15 years and offered to cut transit fees in half.
Ukraine's Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal said in an interview with Radio Svoboda on November 21 that Ukraine wants to extend the transit contract with Gazprom and is currently negotiating with its European partners.
The Russian government reported the start of talks on a new transit deal on September 8 held by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak and the German government's commissioner for gas transit through Ukraine, Georg Graf Waldersee.
"Germany has been, is and will remain the main partner for the Russian fuel and energy complex in the European direction," Novak said at the time.
Ukrainian gas storage facilities can become a `gas safe' for Europe, says Denys Shmyhal | Ukraine Gov't Portal - Nov. 22, 2021 |
Ukraine expresses readiness to offer additional capacity for gas transit to Europe in the amount of at least 55 million cubic meters per day. This was stated by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in a Saturday Interview program on Radio Svoboda.
"We have a transit contract until 2024, but we are negotiating to extend it for 15 years. Such talks are currently underway with European partners, as they, as gas buyers, are interested in Ukraine remaining a reliable transit country for blue fuel. In general, our gas transit system can transport twice as much gas as is currently contracted. The system is prepared for that and it is completely reliable," the Prime Minister stressed.
Denys Shmyhal also noted that Ukraine had addressed the EU with an initiative to use Ukrainian gas storage facilities as a `gas safe' for Europe. Ukraine has historically filled its gas storage facilities with 20-26 billion cubic meters out of 33 available, and the rest can be offered to European partners. According to the Prime Minister, such a `gas fund' will become a good stabilizing factor for overcoming energy crises.
Besides, the Prime Minister stressed that Nord Stream 2 is a hybrid weapon of Russia not only against Ukraine but also against Europe.