Entire natural gas amount offered at annual DEPA auction sold

DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, sold, for the first time, the entire amount of natural gas offered at its annual auction on October 30, during which 184 million cubic meters were bought for delivery in 2016. At its prevous auction, DEPA had sold 73 percent of the natural gas amount offered.

According to ICIS, an international natural gas market news source, 50,000 units priced at 612 euros each, or 19.86 euros per MWh, were offered at the DEPA auction, compared to natural gas TTF future prices of 17.95 euros on the day.

A DEPA official informed that 23 enterprises, including 15 industrial units, participated in the auction for a total of 20 orders.

Current negotiations between RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, and competition authorities promise to increase the amount of natural gas to be offered to the market through auctions.

DEPA sold 60 percent of its 2016 order at last month’s annual auction and plans to offer the remainder at future three-month auctions. Last year, DEPA had equally split its natural gas amount offered through annual and three-month auctions.

As a result of the Greek gas market’s liberalization, consumers supplied by one of the country’s three regional gas suppliers (EPA) operating in the wider Athens area, Thessaloniki, and Thessalia, in the mid-northeast, are now able choose supplier and also take part in the auctions.

Last August, industrial consumers with annual consumption levels in excess of 2.2 GWh gained the right to take part in the auctions, previously restricted to industrial units consuming 100 GWh or more, a development that served as a key factor in the increased demand at the October auction.

The revision also drove the EPA companies to take part seeking greater quantities than in the past, Pantelis Borovas, a top-ranked competition committee official, noted. The limit on orders that may be placed by participants at the DEPA auctions has been reduced to 15 percent of the total quantity on offer, down from 25 percent, to prevent major suppliers from securing greater natural gas amounts as a means of depriving new participants from securing sizeable amounts, Borovas explained.

According to the ICIS report, the emergence of a greater number of players in Greece’s natural gas market may create a secondary market and further intensify competition.