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Interview

Barcelona/Mülheim, 17 September 2018

Wolfgang was quoted in an article by ‘Kallanish Energy’ titled EUROPEAN’S GAS INDUSTRY’S FUTURE PITS U.S. VS. RUSSIA’.

The article was published by ‘Kallanish Energy’ on occasion of the ‘GasTech Exhibition & Conference 2018’ (https://www.gastechevent.com/) in Barcelona on the emerging global gas market propelled by LNG and the potential rivalry between Russian pipeline gas and U.S. LNG. Further, on the relevance of the recent ‘deal’ between President Trump and President Juncker. Wolfgang indicated i.a. that Europe was ‘open for business’ Read more with 210 bcm/a of regasification capacity 75% idle but that he did not blame U.S. companies one bit for going to Asia fetching higher prices. As to the ‘presidential deal’, he recalled that neither did Mr. Trump have state-owned sales facilities for LNG (or soybeans) nor did Mr. Juncker have state-owned facilities for respective purchases.

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 https://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.

Interview

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

Interview

Mülheim/Essen, 13 July 2018 | Interview by ‘energate messenger’: Part 1: ’Polen ist von den nordwesteuropäischen Märkten abgeschottet’ Part 2: ‘Es fehlt am politischen Willen für gesamteuropäischen Markt‘

Wolfgang was interviewed by ‘energate messenger’ on his main findings in the recently published study on the Polish gas market. In part 1 (’Polen ist von den nordwesteuropäischen Märkten abgeschottet’) he explains the lock-up and price disconnect of the Polish gas market with the Northwest-European markets meanwhile behaving like a single price area. Moreover, he points out the risk of Poland overcharging neighboring countries if it were to become a ‘pivotal hub’.

In part 2 (‘Es fehlt am politischen Willen für gesamteuropäischen Markt‘), Wolfgang explains that lack of political will stands in the way of achieving an integrated European gas market no matter how many interconnectors you build and how diversified you already are. Particularly Poland is driven by ‘ideological physicality’ disregarding the achievements of fungible ‘anonymous molecules’ freely traded on hubs.

Interview

Mülheim/London, 05 July 2018

Wolfgang was quoted by Editor-in-Chief of ‘Natural Gas World’ William Powell in an article titled ‘Poland’s Dystopian Gas Market: Analysis’ published in ‘Natural Gas World’ (https://www.naturalgasworld.com/polands-gas-market-broken-62528). Besides explaining his main findings in the Polish gas market study he commented on the recent partial award of the ICC Arbitration Court in Stockholm in the price dispute between Gazprom export and PGNiG. “If you cannot satisfy the burden of proof that hub-pricing is prevailing in your market and your only argument is that I want to have what my neighbors have, you will most likely fail”, he said.

Interview

Mülheim/London, 29 June 2018

Wolfgang was quoted by ICIS energy expert Alex Thackrah in an article titled ‘European Commission probes Qatari LNG deals’ published in ICIS Gas In Focus, the leading gas industry report with an established audience of executives, analysts and traders since 1994. Wolfgang talks about the legacy of Qatari long-term contracts, which were at the time perceived as a ‘seapipe’, i.e. delivery from ‘A to B’ just like an ordinary pipeline.

Courtesy ICIS, you can download your free copy of ICIS Gas In Focus, including the article, under this link: https://www.icis.com/energy/gas/europe/icis-gas-in-focus/

Publication

Mülheim, June 2018 | New GVC Market Study on the Polish Gas Market: ’Poland, a ‘failed state’ in gas trading – Poland’s deliberate obstruction of European traded gas market integration and its misguided quest for diversity hinging on ‘ideological physicality’

The study has also been published by Natural Gas World (‘NGW’) and is accompanied by an interview on the partial award of the ad-hoc Arbitral Tribunal in Stockholm in the price dispute between Polish incumbent ‘PGNiG’ and Russian Gazprom denying PGNiG Northwest-European hub indexation (https://www.naturalgasworld.com/ggp-poland-a-failed-state-in-gas-trading-62533).

The study on the Polish gas market features findings and recommendations. Read more

Findings:

  • Poland and its state-owned incumbent PGNiG are the loudest when it comes to new gas projects and gas market reforms.
  • By claiming ever increasing dependence on Russia, own diversification projects such as the Baltic pipe and an expansion of the LNG terminal are promoted, whilst other projects such as e.g. Nordstream 2 are fiercely opposed.
  • Beyond the debate about Nordstream 2, it appears useful to look at the real facts prevailing as to the Polish gas market:
    • Poland avails of 5 independent sources of physical supplies and even more interconnection points.
    • The 4 non-Russian sources comprise 117% of total Polish consumption and almost 260% of Russian min-take quantities, which renders alleged exposure to political blackmail groundless.
    • The Polish wholesale gas market features price disconnects of at times 3 to 5 €/MWh (~1 to 1.8 $/MMBtu) vs. the Northwest-European traded markets (which are pricewise strongly correlated and include, noteworthy, the Czech gas market).
    • The only reason for such is that Poland has locked up its market by creating commercially prohibitive entry barriers for international trading companies. The European Commission has, therefore, instigated proceedings against Poland on grounds of anti-competitive practices i.a. hindering free-cross border trade.
    • Also the liberalization of the Polish retail market is poor: A subsidiary of PGNiG supplies houseseholds and small-medium enterprises at regulated tariffs, which are considerably below the sourcing prices offered by PGNiG, essentially the exclusive seller of respective supplies to new entrants.

Recommendations:

  • Consider, beyond the pending EC procedure pertaining to the so-called storage obligation for international trading companies,  scrutinizing further potentially anti-competitive aspects of the Polish gas market at wholesale as well as retail level.
  • Reconcile Poland’s multi-billion diversification projects and respective EU funding as to whether:
    • The high costs (of some of them like e.g. the Baltic pipe) might strengthen Poland’s resolve to continue locking up its market and ‘compensate’ such costs by benefitting from cheap purchases from German and Czech hubs without passing them on to the market.
    • Poland’s aspiration to become the ‘pivotal hub’ for Central Europe, the Baltic states and possibly Ukraine could mean putting ‘the fox in the henhouse’ if this would enable Poland to charge an ‘above market’ premium to these countries as is its present practice in the Polish market.