Europe gas and power markets short-term outlook Q3 2019
Concerns are mounting over Europe's ability to absorb an expected uptick in LNG come October as storage levels have already hit 90% utilisation. 1 January 2020 is capturing the attention as the date for when the current Ukraine transit contract expires. Russia delivered almost 80 bcm of gas via Ukraine in 2018. Nord Stream 2 will be ready in 2020 but the start-up is slipping and the 55-bcma twin pipeline will take time to ramp up. The combination of events to stop Ukraine transit remains extremely unlikely and, consequently, continued transit remains part of our base case. But the market is pricing in a significant risk premium for Q1 2020. Beyond then, low prices will be required to incentivise and entrench required levels of coal-to-gas switching in Europe.