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Russian gas flows into Europe at 2021 lows in Nov on subdued Belarus transit


Four main corridors see flows of 10.1 Bcm in Nov

Flows via Belarus remain low, Ukraine transit steady

Unplanned Bulgaria outage hits TurkStream supply

  • Author
  • Stuart Elliott
  • Editor
  • Manish Parashar
  • Commodity
  • Natural Gas

Russian gas flows to Europe remained at 2021 lows in November as deliveries via Belarus were again subdued, an analysis of flow data from S&P Global Platts Analytics showed Dec. 2.

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Russian pipeline exports to Europe in November via its four main corridors -- Nord Stream, Yamal-Europe, Ukraine and the TurkStream string to Europe -- totaled 10.1 Bcm, the data showed.

The main reason for the lower pipeline deliveries was reduced supply via Belarus, with total flows into Poland amounting to just 1.14 Bcm. That compared with a 2021 peak of 3.24 Bcm in January.

The low flows via Belarus and its impact on total supply, which tally with Gazprom's own data showing a continued low level of gas sales in Europe last month, lent support to European gas prices.

The average TTF day-ahead price in November was Eur80.38/MWh, up 487% compared with the average in November 2020 of just Eur13.70/MWh, according to S&P Global Platts price assessments.

The TTF day-ahead price reached Eur94.98/MWh on Dec. 1 having hit a record high of Eur116.10/MWh in early October.

On other routes, total flows via the Nord Stream system remained at capacity through November, totaling 4.74 Bcm.

Deliveries via Ukraine totaled 3.1 Bcm, higher than in October, but still well down on the most recent peak of 5 Bcm in December 2020.

TurkStream supply

Supplies via TurkStream were lower in November, falling below 1 Bcm, after an unplanned outage in the Bulgarian system Nov. 1 impacted flows for three days.

The pipeline failure in Bulgaria, which showed the relative vulnerability of the dedicated onshore pipeline network for TurkStream deliveries, meant there was zero access to the Kireevo interconnection point on the border with Serbia and no access to the Ruse point on the border with Romania.

Supplies into Serbia resumed Nov. 2, with Bulgartransgaz saying the incident had been fully resolved by Nov. 4.

During the outage, Serbia's Srbijagas sourced emergency volumes of gas from Hungary, which were also used to supply Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The bulk of Hungary's Russian gas imports now come in via Serbia after the supply via Ukraine was halted Oct. 1.

Total gas deliveries into Southeast Europe via TurkStream in the first 11 months of 2021 totaled 10.3 Bcm, the Platts Analytics data showed.

The start in January 2020 of the two-string 31.5 Bcm/year TurkStream pipeline triggered an unprecedented reshuffle in the way Russian gas reaches Southeast Europe.

One of the 15.75 Bcm/year strings feeds directly into the Turkish market, replacing volumes previously delivered via Ukraine in the Trans-Balkan pipeline, while the other 15.75 Bcm/year string enters Bulgaria at Strandzha.

Initially, gas mostly either stayed in Bulgaria or was transited to Greece and North Macedonia, with small volumes also moving into Romania.

However, since the start of 2021, Russian gas sent via TurkStream is also now transited onto Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Hungary also supplied via the new route since October.