Limited flexibility in the auction schedule for buying pipeline capacity has resulted in an opportunity to profit from the NBP’s premium this winter being lost.
The NBP January and February contracts held a premium to the TTF wider than 4.45p/th from early September until the start of this week. This was enough to cover the cost of buying short-term BBL capacity to the UK from the Netherlands and other fees, such as the commodity charges.
An increase in the seasonality of LNG demand in northeast Asia has raised the value of using European terminals as storage for winter reloads.
Northwest Europe — using data from Argus downloads for the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and France — has already scheduled four reloads this month, the most since January.
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European energy traders association Efet has called for more flexible Italian gas storage rules, and September could be a good time to test this idea.
Italy could struggle to meet consumption during planned Tag pipeline maintenance on 25-29 September, unless LNG imports are high or storage withdrawals are permitted.