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Gazprom Export sells 145 million cu m of natural gas in New Year auctions

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Total of 1.78 Bcm sold on ESP since September startup

London — Gazprom Export has sold a total of 145 million cu m of Russian natural gas for delivery in February and March on its Electronic Sales Platform since sales resumed in the New Year.

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It brings the total volume of gas sold on the ESP -- which started in late September as a mechanism for selling gas outside of Gazprom's traditional long-term contract model -- to 1.78 Bcm.

The volume remains small compared with Gazprom's total sales in Europe and Turkey last year, which CEO Alexei Miller said would reach some 201 Bcm, but is continued evidence of new selling behavior by the Russian gas giant.

Gazprom Export has sold gas via the ESP in three waves to date. The first was for delivery of gas in the fourth quarter of 2018, the second for delivery predominantly in January 2019, and now a third wave that is offering gas for delivery in February and March.

Auctions took place last Friday, Monday and Tuesday for the sale of Russian gas in February and March, the first auctions at which there were sales since December 17.

The majority (93%) of the 145 million cu m sold in the three daily auctions so far in January was for delivery in February.

The remainder was for delivery to the German GASPOOL hub in March.

Gazprom Export revealed the sales data for the three 2019 auctions to date on Wednesday. There were public holidays in Russia over January 1-7.

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The sales process continues Wednesday with gas on offer for delivery in February and March to GASPOOL, the German NCG hub, the Baumgarten interconnection point in Austria and its alternative Austrian delivery points, and the Slovakian virtual trading point.

It remains to be seen whether this third wave of auctions will push delivery periods out beyond March into Q2.

Gazprom Export in December also concluded its first ever day-ahead gas sales deal on the ESP, selling 700,000 cu m for delivery to GASPOOL.

Gazprom Export said at the time that a standard framework contract was being prepared that would allow day-ahead sales on a regular basis.

GAZPROM'S THIRD WAVE OF ESP SALES (million cu m)

February March Total
GASPOOL 66 10.7 76.7
Arnoldstein 31 31
VTP Slovakia 33.3 33.3
NCG 3.9 3.9
Total 134.2 10.7 144.9

Source: Gazprom Export

--Stuart Elliott, stuart.elliott@spglobal.com

--Edited by James Burgess, newsdesk@spglobal.com