In the last edition, ener|gate Gasmarkt mentioned in the Rumours chapter a potential new “Ukraine transit crisis” from January 2020. The scenario: Nord Stream 2 will not be operational and there will be no valid transit contract in place between Gazprom export and any existing Ukrainian TSO entity. ener|gate Gasmarkt thinks the risk of at least a short major transit curtailment is high. However, most analysts do not share this view, as ener|gate Gasmarkt learned from discussions in September. But the Q4/19- Q1/20 spread is increasing and reached 3.00 euros/ MWh at the end of September. On September 19, a new round of trilateral negotiations for a new contract between representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the EU Commission took place. No final agreement was reached. The negotiations were described as “constructive”. Allegedly, Gazprom is willing to book capacity at a new Ukrainian TSO according to the rules of the internal gas market. Maroš Šefčovič, the still responsible vice president of the EU Commission, said after the meeting that Ukraine was making progress in implementing these rules and establishing an unbundled independent TSO. Negotiations will continue until the end of October on the political trilateral level.
It should also be mentioned that the ministry of economics (BMWi) “officially” still believes that Nord Stream 2 will be ready in time. “The German government assumes that the Danish approval process will be finished soon and that the pipeline will be finished in time”, wrote the BMWi’s state secretary Andreas Feicht in his answer to a parliamentary question from Christian Kühn, member of the parliamentary group of the Green Party. But the ministry seems to talking with a split tongue about that topic. When the moderator of at the Deutsche Energiekongress, an industry conference, Michael Bauchmüller (Süddeutsche Zeitung, a daily newspaper), asked the parliamentary state secretary Michael Bareiß about the completion of Nord Stream 2, he made very clear that he does not expect it to happen in 2019.
With its decision on September 10, The European Court caused real excitement in the European gas market. It declared the EU Commission’s approval for the compromise between BNetzA, OPAL Gastransport, Gazpom and Gazprom Export on the full utilisation of OPAL null and void. A short overview of history of the compromise is laid down in Box 1. The Polish government argued that the gas supply of Poland was endangered. The higher flows through Nord Stream 1 may reduce flows on other Russian export routes (Yamal Nord, Ukraine). This may reduce the pressure on these routes in a way that sufficient flows to the Polish market might not be guaranteed.