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Gazprom natural gas sales in Europe, Turkey slide by 34 million cu m/d in Feb

London — * Total deliveries last month were 16.3 Bcm
* Jan-Feb total still up 21% year on year
* February prices, demand hit Gazprom supply

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Russian natural gas flows to Europe and Turkey in February averaged 582 million cu m/d, down 34 million cu m/d from the January average, Gazprom data released late Wednesday showed.

Flows of Russian gas to Europe dipped in February, given lower demand and a less attractive oil-indexed price versus the European hubs.

Gazprom was also unable to use the higher capacity in the OPAL line last month due to ongoing legal action, having boosted supplies via Nord Stream/OPAL in January.



Its gas deliveries via the Ukraine route also slid in the last week of February, triggering a warning from Ukraine's Naftogaz about record low pressure in the system.

According to Gazprom data, total sales in Europe and Turkey (but not the countries of the former Soviet Union) were 16.3 Bcm, or an average of 582 million cu m/d.

That is down from the January total of 19.1 Bcm, or an average of 616 million cu m/d.

The total for the first two months of 2017 was 35.4 Bcm, still up 21% from the same period last year.

"In absolute terms, the increase amounted to 6.1 Bcm, which is comparable with the annual volume of deliveries to Austria," Gazprom said.

Nonetheless, the fall in February will have been noted, and comes as Russian oil-indexed gas prices and the day-ahead price at European hubs converge.

The oil-indexed range is still slightly cheaper than the TTF hub, but the two have been converging in recent weeks and the TTF price is set to fall well into the oil-indexed price range in the near future, according to Platts analysis.

Gazprom said its supplies to Germany rose 23.8% year on year in the first two months of 2017, while supplies were also up year on year in France (38.2%), Slovakia (11.5%) and Greece (20.6%).

"Our European customers are steadily increasing imports," CEO Alexei Miller said.

Last year, Gazprom hit an all-time high sales level of 179.3 Bcm and Gazprom officials have said that the company could exceed that level in 2017.

--Stuart Elliott, stuart.elliott@spglobal.com
--Edited by E Shailaja Nair, shailaja.nair@spglobal.com