Altetnatives & Analyses: Gas prices at the Bulgarian Gas Exchange fall below Romanian pars

Today’s trading marked a new price record at the nascent Bulgarian Gas Exchange, which hit a new low of 36,5 BGL/MWhr – or 18.6 Euro/MWhr. Just in three consecutive days, the gas price fell by almost 10 percent. Volumes are very small – 1000 MWhr in each trading, but this is a significant mark as the price today is below the 19,3 Euro/MWhr achieved at the Romanian Gas Exchange, which has a much longer history. The country is almost self-sufficient in natural gas.
It is certainly premature to draw any conclusions, but some are just too noticeable to miss.


First, the abundance of gas in the Southern Gas Corridor with the growing and trendsetting role of the LNG will further dump prices and bite-off market shares off Gazprom until and unless it changes its benign neglect approach.


Second, in 2020 more than ten bcm of gas originating in the SGS, in Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria will desperately seek its buyer, further contributing to aligning SEE with EU gas markets.


Third, What Gazprom loses as market shares in PNG, Novatek gains in the EU LNG market.

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Fourth, falling prices at the Bulgarian gas exchange make the current Bulgargaz-Gazprom supply contract look antique and odd. If the largest client of the Bulgarian gas trader, accounting for 25% of all sales, being heavily indebted, finds much lower prices, others will follow soon.


Fifth, the price differential between the Bulgarian and Romanian Gas Exchanges, on one side, and the EU gas exchanges, on the other, will continue to shrink as have differences between the CEGH and the Dutch TTF. Liquidity is not an issue, and it is demand-driven. Higher demand will attract larger traders and gas liquidity.


Sixth, as competition gets tenser, suppliers with a longer value chain and higher overhead costs will be kicked out of the market as prices dip further.


Seventh, long-term – weekly and monthly – products will allow suppliers to optimize logistics costs, further dumping price levels.
Eighth, it is not only ‘sun and roses’ – discharge, storage, and transit costs in Greece remain high, which will ultimately force suppliers and traders to turn to Turkish LNG terminals.
In conclusion, so far, so good – gas consumers should cheer.

Ilian Vassilev

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