London — Russia's Gazprom Export is offering gas on its Electronic Sales Platform (ESP) for delivery in 2020 for the first time in Monday's auction.
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Gas is being offered on the ESP for Summer 2020 delivery to the German Gaspool hub and the Dutch TTF hub.
It is the first time Gazprom Export has offered gas for delivery after 2019 and follows a transit agreement reached Friday between Russia and Ukraine at the political level in Minsk.
Gazprom Export had held off offering gas for 2020 delivery until it could be sure the mechanisms for transit to Europe via Ukraine were in place.
Sales on the ESP soared to 88 million cu m Friday -- all for December delivery.
Volumes were dominated by sales for delivery to the German Gaspool hub (45 million cu m) and the Austrian virtual trading point (30 million cu m).
Smaller volumes were sold for delivery to the German NCG hub, the Slovakian VTP and the Baumgarten interconnection point between Slovakia and Austria.
Sales in December had been lower than recent months, averaging 25 million cu m/d before Friday's auction.
The average price of gas sold on the ESP in December to date is Eur15.96/MWh, down from Eur16.210/MWh a week ago, according to an update on Gazprom Export's website.
It compares with an average day-ahead price so far in December on the German NCG hub of Eur14/MWh, according to S&P Global Platts assessments.
Gazprom Export began publishing its so-called ESPGazEX index in April, which represents the average price of sales in any month -- regardless of delivery period.
The index has closely tracked prices on the German gas hubs, although because the ESPGazEX index normally reflects the daily average price of sales for day-ahead, within-month, month-ahead and even quarters-ahead contracts, it is difficult to know exactly the prices being paid for ESP gas.
The lowest average price so far on the ESP was in July when the ESPGazEX index ended the month at Eur11.521/MWh.
The highest price was Eur28.766/MWh in October 2018.
In all, gas sales on the ESP now total 16.16 Bcm since the first sale took place in September 2018.
-- Stuart Elliott, Stuart.Elliott@spglobal.com
-- Edited by James Burgess, email@example.com