MOSCOW, April 16 – RIA Novosti. The current dynamics of the replenishment of gas reserves in underground storage facilities in Europe indicates that not everything is fine with injection yet, Alexei Belogoryev, deputy chief director for energy at the Institute of Energy and Finance (IEF), told RIA Novosti.
He noted that “subways” in Europe this year switched to the mode of predominant gas injection very early, when the seasonal minimum of reserves was reached (25.51% of the nominal active volume). This dynamics was interrupted from March 31 to April 5 due to a sharp cooling. For comparison, the expert says, in 2021, the minimum level fell on an abnormally late period – April 19-20.
“As of April 10, 2022, stocks in EU UGS facilities increased to 26.84% (as of April 13 they were 27.13% – ed.). According to retrospective data, in the first three weeks from the start of the injection period, stocks increase from 1, 6% to 5.3%. In 2022, this value is 1.53%, that is, it does not reach the lower limit. This indicates that not everything is fine with the injection,” Belogoryev believes.
At the same time, he notes, the main problem is hardly related to the fact that there is not enough Russian gas. The obstacle is rather the high cost of “blue fuel” as such.
“UGS operators are clearly in no hurry to store gas at such high prices as they are now ($1,100-1,300 per thousand cubic meters), continuing to expect a seasonal price decline. , as a rule, for four months – from May to August,” the expert concludes.
Gazprom said on Friday that Europe withdrew 51 billion cubic meters of gas from UGS facilities in winter, that is, 107.8% of the volume pumped in summer, ending the withdrawal season on March 19 at one of the lowest levels in terms of reserves in many years – only 25.2 billion cubic meters of active gas. To replenish the “underground” by the coming winter, you need to pump at least 63 billion cubic meters. “Gazprom” considers this an ambitious task, since in recent years such a volume has not been pumped and it is not enough for energy security in cold weather.
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Translation by RJ983
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