Gas-sector companies under pressure as a result of low demand

Companies linked to the natural gas sector, from power producers to gas traders and suppliers, are expected to be seriously impacted by a decline in natural gas demand, down 15.29 percent in the first quarter compared to the equivalent period last year, according to data provided by DESFA, Greece’s gas grid operator.

Gas usage dropped off significantly in the first quarter, down 33.92 percent to 12.39 TWh, from 18.74 TWh in the equivalent period last year.

According to gas market experts, gas usage has been just as flat in the Balkans, not a good prospect for Greece’s gas exports.

This overall decline in gas trading activity, despite signs of some recovery ahead of the summer, is placing gas-linked companies under increasing financial pressure.

The current market conditions are particularly adverse for gas-focused enterprises such as DEPA Commercial, a gas wholesaler, exclusively, as opposed to companies with more diverse portfolios.

Gas consumption in the retail market – covering residential, professional small-scale industrial and industrial usage – had fallen by as much as 50 percent at the beginning of the year, according to market officials.

The mild winter, increased caution by consumers amid the energy crisis, as well as the switch, by many companies, from gas to lower-cost fuels such as diesel, all contributed to this sharp decline.