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News: On the Road

Berlin, 14 September 2018

Wolfgang attended the ‘German-Polish Energy Dialogue’ organized by the ‘Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik’ (SWP)’ and ‘The Polish Institute of International Affairs’ (‘PISM’). He delivered a presentation titled:Gas and the Energy Union – Roads ahead – Four Observations on the Polish Gas Market’. He reiterated the most relevant findings in GVC’s recent study on the Polish gas market. Read moreDespite ample opportunity to equalize prices of the Polish wholesale market for gas with those on the Northwest-European hubs, spreads of up 3 €/MWh prevailed. Poland availed of 5 independent sources of supply, while the 4 non-Russian sources exceeded Polish domestic demand by 17%. This calls the alleged dependency on Russia into question, not least since Poland exceeded its minimum take obligation by ~9% in 2017. The Baltic pipe project was ignoring the benefits of entry/exit, by which Norwegian gas landing at Dornum/Germany could be brought to Poland for a few €ct/MWh. The lock-up of the wholesale market also negatively affected conditions on the retail market. An effort was made to convince the Polish colleagues of the benefits of market integration.

News: On the Road

Berlin, 13 September 2018

Wolfgang attended the ‘Expert Talks’ organized by the ‘Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik’ and the ‘World Energy Council. He delivered a presentation titled:Gas and the Energy Union – Roads ahead   – Three Observations’. He described the development of the European gas market as ‘more than meets the eye’ in terms of hub pricing proliferation and correlation. Read moreHis second observation was that there were ‘Disbelieving Thomases’: E.g. parts of the European Commission, who had helped to bring the market advancements about, were not believing in the very same market forces now at work, as e.g. the opposition against Nordstream 2 demonstrates. A further category of disbelievers were certain Central European governments. Last but not least, gas was all too quickly put in the dirty fossil corner, while it was stepping in the breach e.g. when wind and solar production failed (‘Kalte Dunkelflaute’).

Publication

Stuttgart/Mülheim, 10 September 2018 | Article: ’Gastkommentar: Eine offene Tür: Die Integration in die nordwesteuropäischen Handelsmärkte brächte Polen erhebliche Vorteile’, in ‚GVS Gasmarkt-Telegramm 08_2018‘.

GVS had asked Wolfgang once more (see the earlier publication at http://gasvaluechain.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-01-31-Gastkommentar-GVS-W.Peters_Final.pdf) to write a ‘Gastkommentar’ (guest commentary) in its monthly ‘Gasmarkt-Telegramm’ (www.gvs-erdgas.de). Due to the high level of interest in the recently published study on the Polish gas market a ‘short version’ in the German language was suggested. Translated into English, the title reads: ‘An open door: The integration into the Northwest-European traded markets would create significant benefits for Poland’. Hence, the thrust of the article is somewhat more conciliatory than the study itself (‘Poland a failed state in gas trading …’). Nonetheless, Wolfgang points out that the truth must be tolerable and also that, with more emphasis on the benefits, the shortcomings and necessary steps to remove the prevailing market barriers must be addressed.

News: On the Road

London, 5 September 2018

Wolfgang delivers a keynote speech at the ‘5th London Gas & LNG Forum 2018’ in London, on 5 September 2018: Natural gas: the underrated climate saviour between ideology and geopolitics’.

His presentation picks up on three points: gas as underrated climate savior, gas wrongly put in the ‘dirty fossil corner’ hinging on ideology and gas engulfed in geopolitics. Despite the high proliferation Germany has not achieved the targeted CO2 reductions but could if more gas were deployed in the power, heat and transport sectors. Read moreGas plays a triple role in the face of highly intermittent solar and wind production: as ‘permanent synchronizer, as provider of peak power demand and as supplier of significant quantities of power during ‘Kalte Dunkelflaute’. Geopolitics e.g. in opposition to the Nordstream 2 pipeline is capable of endangering security of supply in the face of declining indigenous production. U.S. LNG as a permanent replacement of Russian gas would mean for Europe to compete with Asian prices to the detriment of consumers.

News: On the Road

Berlin, 29 August 2018

Wolfgang attended the „Berlin Seminar on Energy and Climate Policy“ (BSEC): Gas Transit through Ukraine – Discussing Ways Forward, organized by the ‘Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik’. The event featured high ranking speakers e.g. from German ministries and, from the U.S., Edward C. Chow, Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS. The obvious subject predominantly discussed was whether it was advisable to block the Nordstream 2 pipeline project in order to retain transit business for the Ukraine.Read more The majority of speakers expressed skepticism whether Ukraine’s transit system could, after decades of corruption and neglect, be relied on to carry the rising Russian import quantities needed in the face of declining indigenous production. On the other hand, there was consensus that there was a business case for Ukrainian future transit. Wolfgang pointed out in his intervention that, in winter 2017/2018, Russian import pipelines had been used at maximum capacity and there was space for more. He also emphasized that the repeated ‘political rangling’ about average annual ‘volume quotas’ was a fallacy: transport should be looked at in terms of peak capacity needed and here Ukraine had a role to play even after the completion of Nordstream 2.

News: Interviews

Berlin, 15 August 2018

Wolfgang was interviewed by ‘Russia 24’ in Berlin on the state of the European gas market, particularly the arising competition between further Russian supplies e.g. via the Nordstream 2 pipeline and U.S. LNG. He emphasized that Europe availed of ample redundant import capacity (e.g. ~210 bcm/a of regasification capacity ~75% idle) and the evolving global LNG market with meanwhile 2/3rd destination flexible supplies responding to price signals. Hence, concerns about Russian dominance were no longer justified and Europe, in the face of declining indigenous production and rising demand, should welcome all suppliers to compete. The link to the full trailer in the Russian language is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWMtd0SPzLo

Event

Warsaw/Mülheim, 08 August 2018

GVC (along with its co-shareholders) divested its shares in Energy Match Spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością, a limited liability company under the laws of Poland and hence exited the Polish market. Wolfgang’s frustrated comment: “In my study on the Polish gas market, I qualified the Polish retail market as a commercial ‘no-go area’. GVC’s divestment is the living proof of this.” Financial details concerning the divestment cannot be disclosed.

Note: The link to Energy Match under ‘Affiliations’ has been removed.