Gas flows and gas prices in europe: what is the impact of Nord Stream 2?

Günther, Maik GND; Nissen, Volker GND

Natural gas plays an important role in Europe. It is a bridging technology for the transition of the electricity system and has also a significant potential to reduce CO2 emission in the mobility and heating sectors. Nevertheless, Europe is strongly dependent on imports of natural gas. While it is expected that European gas demand declines in long-term, indigenous production in Europe also declines. Thus, European import dependency persists. An important supplier of natural gas is Russia. Even if Russia should increase its market share, there is still enough transport capacity existing to bring Russian gas to Europe. However, the pipeline Nord Stream 2 with an additional annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) is under construction. This pipeline probably starts operation in 2020 and has the potential to change gas flows in Europe significantly. Stadtwerke München GmbH (SWM) operate the worldwide gas market model WEGA to calculate gas flows and gas prices in daily resolution until 2040. This model is based on the commercial solution Pegasus from Pöyry Management Consulting. Public sources as well as commercial services are used by SWM to constantly update the dataset of WEGA. For plausibility checks, NBP, NCG and TTF future prices are also frequently calculated. To analyse the impact of Nord Stream 2 on European gas flows, different scenarios are calculated in WEGA. The following exemplary results of 2028 reveal that Nord Stream 2 has significant effects on European gas flows: Transit flows through Germany increase by 17 bcm in comparison to a scenario without Nord Stream 2. On the other hand, gas flows from Poland to Germany are reduced by 14 bcm due to Nord Stream 2. Other effects are reduced gas flows via Ukraine and a redirection of Norwegian gas (13 bcm) from Germany to other Northwest European countries. Furthermore, Nord Stream 2 has also an impact on European gas prices. In general, this pipeline has a moderate dampening effect, with gas prices in Western Europe falling slightly more than in Eastern Europe.


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