In December 1994, Gazprom became a shareholder in Interconnector (UK), operator of the Interconnector gas pipeline between continental Europe and Britain. Gazprom now owns 2 bcm per year of this pipeline’s forward flow capacity (toward Europe) and 6 bcm per year of reverse flow capacity (toward Britain).
With the aim of optimizing the use of this gas pipeline’s capacities and furthering trade operations in Europe’s deregulated markets, a 100% Gazprom subsidiary — Gazprom UK Trading (now known as Gazprom Marketing & Trading, hereafter referred to as GM&T) — was established in Britain on May 6, 1999. GM&T’s chief fields of activity include:
Having started with volumes of 260 mcm, Gazprom Group now supplies 11.12 bcm of natural gas per year to the British market (results for 2015). As well as Russian gas, GM&T’s portfolio also includes gas from other producers. For instance, GM&T has a contract with DONG (Denmark) for purchasing natural gas from the Ormen Lange field in the North Sea. GM&T also buys significant volumes of gas directly in the market.
To enhance the reliability and flexibility of gas supply to Britain, the company is optimizing the Interconnector pipeline capacities it owns and the BBL pipeline capacities it leases.
Another measure taken to improve reliability and optimize supply involves gas swap deals. These deals help lower transmission costs and ensure increased gas volumes in the portfolio for any given market, regardless of capacity loading in a particular section. GM&T also participates in operations such as exchanging pipeline gas for liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Another strategy pursued to improve the reliability of gas supply to consumers involves optimizing and balancing the company’s own product portfolio. These measures include such transactions as hedging and signing multiple-component contracts involving bundled products (gas/electricity/ greenhouse gas emission permits).
The sale of gas to end consumers is a gas business segment that enables revenue sources to be diversified. Moreover, direct gas deliveries to end consumers are additional guarantees of natural gas sales in the British deregulated market. In 2015, gas sales to end consumers in Britain (through GM&T’s subsidiary, Gazprom Marketing & Trading Retail) came to 2.9 bcm.