|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||6.85 - 7.00|
|52 Week Range||4.23 - 7.89|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.40|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||2.04|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.50 (7.16%)|
|1y Target Est||9.80|
Europe has long pushed to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, and now the problem has taken a new turn with China, too, dumping cash into the market
Europe's two biggest suppliers of pipeline gas, Norway's Equinor and Russia's Gazprom, have lost market share for the first time in at least four years amid a tripling in liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports into the region over the past 10 months. LNG imports into Europe have jumped amid lower than expected spot demand from Asia, which has helped to send European gas prices to 10-year lows and filled European storages to multi-year highs. Data compiled by Refinitiv showing changes in the market share of gas from Norway, Russia and LNG sources is the latest example of how LNG is transforming Europe's gas market.
Russia's top gas producer Gazprom and a raft of other major firms have added to calls for the banking sector to use domestic ratings in implementing new financial regulations, saying this would ease pressure on banks and cut lending rates. Officials have challenged the way the central bank is instructing lenders to comply with new Basel III regulations. The finance ministry says the capital buffers banks require under the rules should be set according to ratings by domestic agencies, while the central bank wants to use its own in-house assessments.
COPENHAGEN/MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian-led gas pipeline project across the Baltic Sea to Europe could be delayed by up to eight months and cost an extra 660 million euros ($740 million) due to hurdles in securing the necessary permits from Denmark, the pipeline operator has said. The 1,230-km (765-mile) Nord Stream 2 pipeline, now under construction, has come under fire from the United States and several eastern European, Nordic and Baltic countries, which say the conduit will increase Europe's reliance on Russian gas. The timeline of the project, led by state-owned Gazprom , is key for the future of the gas transit contract between Moscow and Kiev, as Ukraine is Russia's main gas route for exports to Europe.
(Bloomberg) -- Efforts by the U.S. Senate to hamper a controversial natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany have probably come too late.The Senate is yet to vote on a bill to impose sanctions on construction of the undersea part of the 750-mile Nord Stream 2 link under the Baltic Sea, but the project is already almost complete and scheduled to be finished this year.The faltering U.S. attempt to prevent the pipeline mimics similarly unsuccessful moves to limit Soviet gas exports to Europe during the Reagan era in the early 1980s, according to Jonathan Stern, a senior research fellow at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.“They were resisted and ineffective then and I think we can expect the same result today,” he said. “This all looks likely to be too late to be very significant since most of these pipelines have already been laid, unless the U.S. attempts retroactive sanctions, which I think could really raise a storm on this side of the Atlantic.”The project has split the European Union, with nations including Poland concerned about Russia’s Gazprom PJSC, already the region’s dominant supplier, boosting its influence in the region when the link is finished. It also raised trade tension with the U.S., with President Donald Trump warning that the project would boost dependence on Russia and Energy Secretary Rick Perry touting “freedom gas” from North America.It’s not so much that this year’s attempts by the senators will stop the project, but there “might be a bit of disruption,” said Wayne Bryan, a trader and analyst at Alfa Energy Ltd. in London. Gas prices for 2020 in the Netherlands are 55% higher than for delivery next month, signaling the market’s assessment of heightened supply risk next year.Germany and other backers of Nord Stream 2 say the pipeline is needed to replace coal and nuclear plants being shuttered across Europe in order to help back up intermittent renewable supply and meet climate goals.The legislation creating the sanctions sponsored by Texas Republican Ted Cruz and New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen would target vessels that lay the pipeline and sanction executives from companies linked to those vessels. Shaheen said that the only companies that would be affected are Allseas Group SA of Switzerland and Saipem SpA.“Saipem does not believe this legislation as drafted applies to Saipem’s existing contractual commitments for this project,” said Vincenzo Romeo Tramontano, a spokesman for the Milan-based company. “Saipem understands that this legislation is aimed at imposing future sanctions on certain vessels providing construction support” to the pipeline.Allseas, which is laying the twin pipelines, declined to “speculate on potential impacts of proposed sanctions,” the company said by email.While the U.S. had few objections to the first, almost identical, Nord Stream link that started operations in 2011, two subsequent events may help explain the current opposition.The first is the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, a key transit nation for Gazprom’s gas that stands to lose billions of dollars if supplies go via Nord Stream 2 instead, which culminated in the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the imposition of sanctions by the U.S. and European Union. The second is the start of U.S. shale gas exports in 2016, which have since boomed to make the nation the third-largest liquefied natural gas exporter.With plunging renewable-energy costs the U.S. may be worried about the future of global gas demand, said Laurent Segalen, a former commodities banker who is now a partner at Megawatt-X in London, advising on financing wind and solar projects.“In Asia, U.S. LNG is undercut by the Qataris and the Aussies -- Germany is the prize, and the U.S. LNG industry want to snap it from the Russians,” he said. “If Nord Stream 2 goes through, the U.S. LNG exporters can kiss goodbye to hundreds of LNG cargoes to Germany in the coming years.”\--With assistance from Daniel Flatley.To contact the reporter on this story: Mathew Carr in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, Rob Verdonck, Lars PaulssonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
MOSCOW/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Russia wants to strike a short-term deal with Kiev on gas transit to Europe when the current 10-year agreement expires in order to buy time to complete pipelines that will bypass Ukraine, four sources familiar with Russian thinking said. Moscow’s stance is far removed from what Kiev and its European allies want.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Donald Trump doesn’t have to impose sanctions on Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany if he wants Europe to buy more U.S. liquefied natural gas. The market is doing his work for him.Increasing competition is already reducing the European Union’s dependence on Russian exports, and U.S. LNG is an increasingly important factor in determining prices.Asked during an appearance with Polish President Andrzej Duda whether he would use sanctions to block Nord Stream 2, the U.S. president said he was “looking at it” and “thinking about it” because “we’re protecting Germany from Russia. And Russia is getting billions and billions of dollars of money from Germany.”This made headlines because it appeared to repeat earlier threats from the U.S. Senate and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. But later, when a reporter pushed him by saying he had the power to block the pipeline with sanctions, Trump replied:Germany has the power to block it. You know how they block it? By not buying it. I mean, Germany made a decision to buy a tremendous percentage of their energy from Russia. Germany – whether they should be doing that or not, they’re the ones that have the power to block it. They shouldn’t buy it. Or, if they want to, they can. But that’s really a decision of Germany.My reading of these remarks is that Trump is less interested in imposing sanctions than he is eager to get Germany to buy more of the U.S.’s “tremendous” LNG. “I think that’s really the way, if they want to spend a tremendous amount of money,” Trump said.Regardless of what happens with Nord Stream 2, Germany and other European countries are likely to buy more U.S. LNG because they don’t want to spend a tremendous amount of money — in particular, on Russian gas. Nord Stream 2 came up at the Trump press conference with Duda because Poland’s state-owned oil and gas company, PGNiG, is an enthusiastic buyer of U.S. LNG. Last year, the utility signed three long-term contracts with U.S. producers, only one of which — Cheniere Energy Inc. — is already supplying the fuel; the others still haven’t built their export terminals.PGNiG is signing these deals because it is locked into a long-term contract with Russia’s Gazprom and unhappy with the price it’s paying. The dispute is in arbitration, with the Polish utility close to winning a reduction. Even so, the contract runs out in 2022 and PGNiG is threatening not to renew it and seek alternatives from Norway. For those threats to be credible, and for Gazprom to start offering favorable terms, the buyer needs to show that it can already get supplies from elsewhere. It’s making some progress.PGNiG has long claimed it can source LNG at lower prices than those offered by Gazprom. This year, that claim doesn't look so outlandish. Gazprom’s average export price in Europe reached $254 per 1,000 cubic meters in the first quarter of 2019. Spot LNG prices have been lower, hovering about $5 per million British thermal units, or about $177 per 1,000 cubic meters.One may laugh at the U.S. branding of “freedom gas,” but its influence on European prices has been liberating. It is a buyer’s market, at least for now.Only three factors limit Europe’s ability to drive down natural gas prices: Gazprom’s long-term contracts; LNG terminal capacity; and demand in Asia, where prices are higher. The first two of these aren’t immutable: Contracts will run out and be renegotiated, and new terminals are being built (Germany alone has plans for two). That LNG supplies can easily be diverted elsewhere as prices change makes it necessary for European countries to have access to pipeline gas sources — but Gazprom isn’t the only one. It faces competition from Norway and various Mediterranean projects.Germany stands to benefit from this new setup. It needs a lot of gas as it tries to phase out both nuclear and coal power. Demand forecasts vary wildly, but it’s safe to assume the country will buy as much as it can get. Nord Stream2 alone won’t be enough to cover those needs, so Germany will have to turn to the U.S. That, together with supplies from other sources, should help it to negotiate down Gazprom’s prices.It’s a win-win situation for the U.S. LNG producers, Germany and even Gazprom as it seeks to keep a foothold in Europe. But two strong arguments still exist for sanctioning Nord Stream 2. One is the need to preserve the Ukrainian transit route for Russian gas. If it dries up, cash-strapped Ukraine would lose a major revenue source. (For now, though, Russia will pump as much gas as it can to Europe to avoid losing its main export market. Given Gazprom’s importance to the personal wealth of Putin’s close circle, that’s not an option.) The other reason is that Nord Stream 2 undermines Poland’s bargaining power over Gazprom: The supplier would be able to say it has found another buyer in the neighborhood.Trump and U.S. Congress should weigh these dangers against that of further alienating Germany. It might try to defy the sanctions if Gazprom goes ahead with the Nord Stream 2 project without Western partners. Any move by the U.S. against Nord Stream 2 would also confirm to its European allies that Washington’s sanctions policy is merely a tool to advance trade interests.These considerations make for a difficult decision. Trump’s remarks on Wednesday sounded to me as though he were leaning toward letting the market do its job this time. That doesn’t mean he can’t change his mind tomorrow — especially if his trade war with China ends and his attention switches to Europe.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Natural gas supplies from Gazprom to Hungary from Jan. 1 through June 5 totaled 4.3 billion cu m, a 57.5% increase vs. the same period last year. In addition to the contracted amounts, Hungary bought from Gazprom another 2 billion cu m of gas, which will be delivered this year.
As the competition in European natural markets is rapidly increasing, Moscow may see itself forced to use more extreme measures to secure its market share