May 18, 2022

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Gas State Award for storage companies. And from the United States there is pressure on Russian oil

next station AlgeriaIn a race against time to accelerate Italy’s independence from Russian gas. The gas file will be at the heart of the Prime Minister’s mission tomorrow the Dragon in Algiers, the capital. But the parallel race is what the government runs to ensure reserves Gas For the coming winter thus ensuring lighting and heating without risk. If you don’t start in time, in April, you are taking a big risk starting in October. And so they arrived at these hours in the new rules of Nice, with premiums and guarantees against the risk of billionaire losses, to push operators to speed up gas storage despite the continued rise in gas prices. The first auctions of the year are almost gone.

The new Stogit and Edison Stoccaggi auction calendar is expected to be released tomorrow, with the first date possibly set for Wednesday. This will be the first technical test to see if the new incentive mechanism studied by MITE will work. Otherwise it may be up to the state, in extreme cases, to step in to ensure that reserves are filled through an operator of last resort, eg a hump, and appropriate compensation. A scenario not ruled out by the Minister of Environmental Transition Roberto Cingolani, who yesterday relaunched the renewable energy sources acceleration path and announced the operation of the first new ship to re-convert liquefied natural gas into gas “for the first half of 2023”.

Meanwhile, the President of the United States, Joe Biden Signed a law prohibiting import petroleum from Russia. It follows the announcement at the beginning of March, which will include an estimated reduction in purchases of 20.4 million barrels of crude oil per month. Looking at last year’s numbers, that’s roughly $2 billion a month. This is not insignificant, despite the fact that the United States is in fact self-sufficient thanks to the development of shale oil (oil from tar sands).

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5% stock award

To give a good idea of ​​what Italian families and businesses risk in the event of a European ban on Russian gas on which the EU Parliament has been based, the latest analysis by Assoutenti which projects inflation over 10% and higher annual spending equals €3,192+ per household with direct effects on consumption, which can be reduced by up to -5%. A corrupt mechanism can only quell the approval of an EU methane price ceiling over which significant resistance remains. On the topic of storage, on the other hand, Europe was stressed: reserves must be quickly raised to 90%.

Hence Italy’s strategy not to miss the target given that at today’s prices (100 euros per megawatt-hour compared to 345 reached last March 7 and 20 euros a year ago) operators must put about 12 billion on the table. euros to buy needed gas in advance, compared to 3 billion users last year. The risk of astronomical losses on the balance sheet when they go to sell methane next winter is very high. That is why the government has introduced new rules to speed up and simplify the filling of reserves. The first chapter of the three-step intervention, which is well explained in Arera’s April 8 decision, provides for a “purchase premium” for operators who will participate in the upcoming seasonal and monthly auctions. At the moment, its price is 5 euros per megawatt-hour. It’s like saying that operators are paid for storage with a bonus of 5% for every megawatt-hour purchased, at current rates. Help to add to zero prices for reserves. It will be seen in a week whether it will be enough to cover the operators’ risk losses.

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plan

But a “Plan B” has already been envisaged, which effectively establishes a system of guarantee against loss at a reference price that limits operators’ risks, but also prevents the transfer of certain risks to homes and businesses that consume gas and electricity. This provides for the introduction of “two-way contracts for differences” mentioned by Arrera. “Considering that this type of contract can generate significant costs for the system,” the authority explains, “it is appropriate to determine the relative methods of implementation with the participation of the parties involved.” Therefore, after a brief consultation with the companies, Arera itself will determine the extent of the guarantee, including a billion-dollar guarantee, which will be introduced soon.

However, if this incentive does not work, then all that remains is to entrust the state with storage. The last point of the intervention envisages that Snam, the EU’s first warehousing operator, will provide one solution by the end of the month for warehousing it normally does in 180 days for its own uses. So it will have to collect about 600-700 million cubic meters of gas, according to some estimates. Good help for national stocks today is shot at 30%, against a European average of 26.5%.

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