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Russian gas flows into Ukraine back to September levels, more through Sudzha seen

Highlights

Flows around the 110 million cu m/d mark since Nov 10

Velke Kapusany receipts rise, Czech-Slovakia flows drop

Injections into Gazprom capacity storage not seen

Flows of natural gas from Russia into Ukraine have recovered after having fallen back in October to reach the levels seen at the back end of the Summer 2021 delivery period, with flows via Sudzha having increased, an analysis by S&P Global Platts showed.

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Russian gas flows into Ukraine through the Sudzha and Sokhranivka interconnection points have been running around the 110 million cu m/d mark since the Nov. 10 gas day, after having fallen back to as low as 58 million cu m on the Nov. 1 gas day, GTSOU data showed.

However, the flow dynamics have changed, with more Russian gas being entered at Sudzha compared with Sokhranivka, fueling the increase of receipts into Slovakia at the Velke Kapusany complex, which have risen in recent weeks to their highest level so far this year.

The increase in Russian gas flows via Ukraine has come after Gazprom announced that its own domestic underground storage reservoirs were full.

With Velke Kapusany receipts having increased accordingly, in addition to firmer withdrawals from storage reservoirs in Ukraine for re-export back into the European hubs rather than domestic sale, flows of gas from the Czech Republic into Slovakia have eased back.

Data from S&P Global Platts Analytics showed that Slovakia received an average of 23 million cu m/d from the Czech Republic -- sourced originally from Germany -- between the Nov. 1-17 gas days in comparison with the 37 million cu m/d average from October and the 46 million cu m/d average from September.

Onward gas flow from Slovakia into Austria has remained largely stable around the 90 million cu m/d mark throughout the Winter 2021 delivery period so far, with gas stocks at the Haidach storage reservoir only seeing a minor increase in stock levels, seen at 64 million cu m at the beginning of the Nov. 19 gas day.

With less Russian gas being moved south/east from Germany, data from Platts Analytics showed that a net total of 128 million cu m has been withdrawal from the four storage reservoirs in Germany where Gazprom has capacity (Etzel, Jemgum, Katharina, Rehden) so far this month, implying that any additional Russian gas is either being used in Germany or exported elsewhere.

With limited firm capacity having been purchased by Gazprom for December usage, the company is purchasing capacity on a daily basis, and with a cold snap expected to move over Europe during Week 47, Russian gas flows may increase in order to cover the expected demand hike.