London — Russia's Gazprom Export has halted natural gas sales on its Electronic Sales Platform (ESP) after selling all of the available gas to year-end, a source close to the matter said Wednesday.
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Since the auction process began on September 20, a total of 1.036 Bcm has been sold, just under the original maximum Gazprom Export said it would offer ahead of its launch.
No auctions have been held this week, with the last sale held on Friday, November 16.
"There are no auctions as all of the gas available in balance has been sold till the end of the year," the source said.
Gazprom Export could not be reached for immediate comment Wednesday.
The company initially set a ceiling of 1.14 Bcm for the auction process -- which had been due to run to the end of December -- but lifted it in early October.
Sales have ended up just over 100 million cu m below the original ceiling.
Most of the sales were made in the first half of the auction calendar in late September and early October.
The majority of the volumes sold were when the German NCG price was trading around the Eur27-28/MWh mark.
Volumes trailed off when the NCG price fell sharply in mid-October and recovered only when the NCG price dipped below Eur24/MWh.
A total of 56% of the sales were for delivery in November, with December volumes representing 41% and October just 3%.
Gazprom Export's rationale for the electronic auctions was to be able to sell additional volumes of Russian gas to customers directly outside the long-term contract model.
The ESP is a replacement for Gazprom Export's email-based auctions that took place in the summers of 2015 and 2016.
It is unclear whether Gazprom Export intends to repeat the ESP auctions in Q1, with the company unavailable for comment.
For buyers, the sales offered additional flexibility around their Russian gas purchases and the opportunity to optimize their imports on a locational and price basis.
GAZPROM EXPORT AUCTION SALES TOTAL 1.04 BCM
|Date||Delivery point||Original maximum||Total mcm/month||Delivery period||Sold so far|
|volume (MWh/h) **|
|17 Sep-30 Oct||NCG||500||34.1||Oct-18||19.7|
|17 Sep-29 Nov||Baumgarten||1,080||71.4||Nov-18||4.2|
|VTP Austria *||35.3|
|17 Sep-28 Dec||Baumgarten||1,080||73.8||Dec-18||4.3|
|VTP Austria *||56.5|
* alternative delivery point to Baumgarten
** under initial calendar published mid-September. No more fixed maximum volumes
Source: Gazprom Export
--Stuart Elliott, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by James Leech, email@example.com