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FSUOGM: Gazprom starts filling European gas storage sites

Natural gas prices fell on November 9 after Russia’s Gazprom announced it had begun filling up its gas storage facilities in Europe, which should help ease the continent’s supply crunch.

“Gazprom approved and began implementation of the plan for pumping gas into five European underground storage facilities in November,” the company reported via its social media channels.

Gazprom has four storage sites in Germany, along with another one in Austria, one in Serbia and one in the Czech Republic. But their utilisation is currently unusually low, with as little as 190,000 cubic metres stored as of October 27, according to Gazprom.

Gazprom’s priority so far has been injecting enough gas into its domestic storage facilities ahead of winter – something it is required to do under Russian law. It previously said it would begin supplies to European storage facilities after November 8, after stockpiling some 72.6bn cubic metres of gas domestically.

The December gas delivery contract at the Dutch TTF hub was down 2.9% at €76.9 ($89)/MWh by around 13:00 GMT on November 9, as fears of supply shortages this winter eased.

However, analysts at VTB Capital (VTBC) estimated in a research note that Gazprom’s overall gas supplies to Europe have not grown significantly as a result of storage injections starting. The company has avoided booking additional transit capacity via Ukraine for much of this year, and westbound gas deliveries via the Yamal-Europe pipeline have become increasingly intermittent. The pipeline has instead flowed in reverse, eastbound, for a number of days in the last two weeks.

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