EU Policy. New joint gas tender sees threefold oversubscription

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved Copyright AP/Copyright 2005 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright AP/Copyright 2005 The AP. All rights reserved
By Marta Pacheco
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EU mechanism to match buyers and suppliers introduced to counter crisis sees heavy supply side interest.


An EU joint tendering platform for gas contracts designed to help the continent stand without Russia was three times oversubscribed attracting a total volume of 97.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) from international suppliers, the EU executive announced today (28 February).

The tender, carried out through AggregateEU, the matching platform launched in 2023 to ensure sufficient energy supply for the winter 2023-2024, started on February 15 and closed last night. The platform was created to aggregate EU gas company demand and attract supplies from international contractors.

This year the matching platform pioneered a new concept allowing companies to bid for gas deliveries between April 2024 and October 2029. Buyers were able to submit gas demands for multiple six-month periods, up to a maximum of five years, the commission said. These tenders were designed to support industrial consumers and sellers in identifying buyers who might be interested in a longer trading partnership.

“The bids surpass the collective demand — in fact they are almost three times the level,” said Maroš Šefčovič, European Commissioner for interinstitutional relations, referring to the 34bcm of gas demand settled by 19 European companies last week.

The deals still need to be contracted among the bidding companies. The European companies will now negotiate the terms with the suppliers and decide if they want to take up the offers.

No details of the origin of the supplying offers was revealed and a commission spokesperson told Euronews that “most of this is confidential”.

Norway (87.8bcm) and the US (56.2bcm) were the EU’s top suppliers of gas in 2023, with Norway providing almost 30% of all gas imports, according to EU data. Additional suppliers included North African countries (41bcm), the UK (16.6bcm) and Qatar (15.5bcm).

The EU “has proved resilient” in defying “the great decoupling from Russian gas” due largely to “the EU internal market and the spirit of solidarity among EU countries”, said Simone Tagliapietra, senior fellow at think tank Bruegel.

“While the EU has navigated through the supply crisis, attention is now turning towards the persistent issue of elevated prices and the looming long-term implications for competitiveness,” Tagliapietra told Euronews, noting that gas prices have now returned to pre-invasion levels, but exposure to the global LNG market may bring volatility in the coming years.

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