The Gas Value Chain Company

This section encompasses a wide range of GVC related information:

  • ‘Events’ captures activities such as speeches and moderations at conferences and symposiae and, moreover, the appearance at/participation in any such events.
  • ‘News’ captures all occurences relevant in the context of GVC’s business not qualifying as an ‘Event’ but worth sharing.
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Event

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.

Event

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’).

Event

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

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

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.

Event

Berlin, 20-21 June 2018

Wolfgang attends the ‘C-5 GAS AND LNG Supply Contracts Forum’ in Berlin, on 20-21 June 2018.

It should be noted that C-5 appears to be the first conference organizer combining piped gas and LNG as one conference theme. Given the convergence of global gas markets, this appears more than appropriate.

At the beginning of day 2, Wolfgang conducted a special 2-hour workshop: “Price Formation of Natural Gas”.

The workshop, courtesy IGU featuring the latest findings in a pre-publication version of the ‘IGU Wholesale Gas Price Survey 2018 Edition’ (www.igu.org), covered a wide range of topics, from price formation mechanisms around the world over price revision towards hedging techniques. Moreover, LNG pricing and required price spreads between markets such as the American Henry Hub and the European TTF were included. Read more

Particular emphasis was put on Northwest-European markets, where hub indexation had now reached 92 % in 2017. Particularly noteworthy was a new analysis of the IGU on price formation of all Russian supplies into the German market, which feature 100% TTF correlation. This demonstrates that physical market share alone can be misleading and it is rather important how the receiving market treats volumes as to price formation.

Further on day 2, Wolfgang participated in a panel and delivered a speech: “The Global Context for European Gas Contracts and Pricing’. He picked up once more on the significant share of Russian supplies into Germany entirely correlated to TTF pricing and that it mattered how a receiving market would treat supplies as to price formation. In this context, he also made some critical observations about certain Central-European states, where the lack of political will Read more and not alleged Russian dependency was the real reason for their markets lacking integration into the European traded markets. Poland was mentioned as a particularly striking case of putting up entry barriers hampering free cross-border trade.

Event

Washington, 6-7 June 2018

Wolfgang attends the ‘4th Washington Oil & Gas Forum 2018’ organized by ‘U.S. Energy Stream’ (www.usenergystream.com) in Washington, on 6-7 June 2018. It should be noted that GVC and U.S. Energy Stream have a cooperation agreement with GVC i.a. supporting U.S. Energy Stream as ‘knowledge partner’.

Wolfgang delivered one of the keynote speeches on day 1:Some (not so) Frequently Asked Questions about the European natural gas market’.

Given the venue of the conference, with a considerable number of speakers and participants from the U.S. including high-ranking members of the U.S. State Department, a central mission of the presentation was to explain and demonstrate the evolution of the European gas markets since the Ukrainian gas crisis in 2009 and clarify potential misperceptions, not least regarding concerns about Russian dependency. Read more

First, he pointed to the significant increase of import needs, which according to the IEA WEO 2017 would reach ~390 bcm/a, in the face of essentially flat demand but declining indigenous production. This should call for as much supplier competition as possible including LNG but also further pipeline gas, e.g. from Russia. Particular emphasis was put on the development of deep and liquid traded markets in Europe. E.g. in the Northwest-European markets hub indexation had reached 92 % in 2017. Noteworthy was a new analysis of the IGU on price formation of all Russian supplies into the German market, which feature 100% TTF correlation. This demonstrates that physical market share alone can be misleading and it is rather important how the receiving market treats volumes as to price formation. He further explained that U.S. LNG supplies needed price spreads between the American Henry Hub and e.g. the European TTF. The role of abundant destination flexible LNG operated like a ‘cap’ on the maximum achievable price of pipeline suppliers to Europe but permanent reliance on LNG would mean competing with Asia at significant higher price levels to the detriment of European consumers.