Latest market news

Investment funds’ long TTF position tops 129TWh: Update

  • Market: Natural gas
  • 19/06/24

Updates net long figure based on new Ice report released same day

The net long position of investment funds at the Dutch TTF gas hub has reached its highest since January 2022 at more than 129TWh, according to the latest data released by the Intercontinental Exchange (Ice).

Investment funds have traded much more heavily at the TTF over the past two months, with their net long position more than quadrupling to 129TWh on 14 June from 31.8TWh in early April, the most recent Ice commitment-of-traders report shows.

This is the largest net long position that investment funds have held in the past two and a half years. Late 2020 was the last time that investment funds increased their net long position so quickly, jumping from roughly 75TWh on 27 November 2020 to a peak of nearly 256TWh on 12 February 2021 (see investment fund graph). Firms began to unwind this net long position from May, and there was a switch to a net short position in April 2022-August 2023.

Continued TTF price volatility may have attracted more investment funds in recent months, particularly as the front-month contract earlier this month hit its highest since December, peaking at €35.88/MWh on 3 June. Russian pipeline gas used to provide the European market with a large degree of flexibility, but the loss of most of this gas, along with higher reliance on LNG, has reduced Europe's supply buffer and has exposed the TTF more to factors well outside Europe. Extended downtime at the Wheatstone LNG plant in Australia, a facility that provides no cargoes to Europe, caused the TTF front-month contract to jump to €36.12/MWh in intra-day trading last week. Similarly, news of shelling in the region of Sudzha, the location of the last still-functioning interconnection point between Ukraine and Russia, caused the TTF front-month contract on Ice to spike by more than €1/MWh in the space of two minutes before falling again. Such sudden jumps and falls have become increasingly common in recent months, with many traders noting the role of algorithmic trading in this phenomenon.

A volatile trading environment is more attractive to investment funds than to other types of market participants, as they make most of their money from price volatility whereas utilities make most of their money from the margins on their sales to customers and associated services.

The investment funds' move to a large net long position contrasts with a rapid move to a net short position by commercial undertakings, defined as companies with retail portfolios. These two trader categories each held net long positions of roughly 77TWh at the start of November. But investment funds had unwound this into a small net short position by March, while commercial undertakings continued to go longer, reaching a peak of 159TWh in mid-December. Mid-February appears to have been a turning point, with investment funds beginning to climb to a net long and commercial undertakings quickly unwinding to small net short.

This was mostly driven by commercial undertakings' increasingly large net short position for "risk reduction contracts", topping 161TWh, as a hedge for similarly sized net long positions on the physical side in storage (see commercial graph). This is only the third time since 2018 that commercial undertakings' aggregate position has been net short, with the only other notable time being for a prolonged period in January-August 2021, as well as one brief week in June 2020. This likely reflects historically high EU stocks at the end of the 2023-24 winter, which have to be counterbalanced by risk-reduction hedging contracts.

ICE TTF net positions TWh

ICE TTF commercial undertakings positions TWh

Sharelinkedin-sharetwitter-sharefacebook-shareemail-share

Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

News
19/07/24

Williams to resume Louisiana gas line construction

Williams to resume Louisiana gas line construction

New York, 19 July (Argus) — US natural gas pipeline company Williams on Friday told federal energy regulators it will proceed with construction of its delayed 1.8 Bcf/d (51mn m³/d) Louisiana Energy Gateway (LEG) gas gathering line in Louisiana. Williams' letter of intent to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the culmination of a series of lawsuits across multiple Louisiana parishes brought by US midstream rival Energy Transfer, which seeks to stop Williams and two other pipeline companies from crossing its own gas line in the Haynesville shale. While Williams is still waiting on a final ruling over two crossings in Vernon Parish, its recent legal victories over Energy Transfer and acquisition of necessary federal permits and easements from landowners have made it possible to commence construction of LEG, Williams said. The final ruling out of Vernon Parish will be decided "soon," Williams said. Williams said it intends to release its contractor to resume pre-construction activities along its right-of-way as early as 25 July, then proceed with construction. "But for the crossing litigation with Energy Transfer, construction of [LEG] would be well underway," Williams said. The litigation has pushed Williams' expected in-service date for LEG from late 2024 to the second half of 2025. Williams prevailed over Energy Transfer earlier this month in DeSoto Parish and in early June in Beauregard Parish . By Julian Hast Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Find out more
News

Von der Leyen faces new Green Deal challenges


19/07/24
News
19/07/24

Von der Leyen faces new Green Deal challenges

The president promises a ‘clean industrial deal', but will need to make compromises over climate policy, writes Dafydd ab Iago Brussels, 19 July (Argus) — Ursula von der Leyen's re-election by the European Parliament as president of the European Commission on 18 July promises to see a doubling down on climate and energy policy, with her 2024-29 mandate stipulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cuts of at least 90pc by 2040 compared with 1990. "I have not forgotten how [Russian president Vladimir] Putin blackmailed us by cutting us off from Russian fossil fuels. We invested massively in homegrown cheap renewables and this enabled us to break free from dirty Russian fossil fuels," von der Leyen says, promising to end the "era of dependency on Russian fossil fuels". She has not given an end date for this, nor specified if this includes a commitment to ending Russian LNG imports. Von der Leyen went on to detail political guidelines for 2024-29. She has pledged to propose a "clean industrial deal" in the first 100 days of her new mandate, albeit without giving concrete figures about how much investment this would channel to infrastructure and industry, particularly for energy-intensive sectors. The clean industrial deal will help bring down energy bills, she says. Von der Leyen told parliament that the commission would propose legislation, under the European Climate Law, establishing a 90pc emissions-reduction target for 2040. Her political guidelines also call for scaling up and prioritising investment in clean technologies, including grid infrastructure, storage capacity, transport for captured CO2, energy efficiency, power digitalisation and a hydrogen network. She plans to extend aggregate demand mechanisms beyond gas to include hydrogen and critical raw materials, and notes the dangers of dependencies and fraying supply chains — from Putin's energy blackmail to China's monopoly on battery and chip raw materials. Majority report Passing the necessary legislation to implement her stated policies will now require approval from EU states and parliament. Unless amplified by Germany's election next year, election victories by far-right parties in France and elsewhere appear not to threaten EU state majorities for specific legislation. Parliament's political centre-left S&D and liberal Renew groups, as well as von der Leyen's own centre-right European People's Party (EPP), have elaborated key policy requests. These broadly call for the continuation of the European Green Deal — a set of legislation and policy measures aimed at 55pc GHG emissions reductions by 2030 compared with 1990. A symbolic issue for von der Leyen to decide on — or compromise on — is that of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. EPP wants to stick to technological neutrality and revise the current mandate for sales of new ICE cars to be phased out by 2035, if they cannot run exclusively on carbon-neutral fuels. The EPP wants an e-fuel, biofuel and low-carbon fuel strategy. Von der Leyen's guidelines reflect the need to gain support from centre-right, centre-left and greens. She says the 2035 climate neutrality target for new cars creates investor and manufacturer "predictability" but requires a "technology-neutral approach, in which e-fuels have a role to play". She has not mentioned carbon-neutral biofuels. It will be impossible for von der Leyen to satisfy all demands in her second mandate. This includes policy requests put forward by the EPP, ranging from a "pragmatic" definition of low-carbon hydrogen and market rules for carbon capture and storage, to postponing the EU's deforestation regulation. EU member states are expected to propose their candidates for commissioners in August, including for energy, climate and trade policy, with von der Leyen's new commission subject to a final vote in parliament in late October. Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Trump vows to target 'green' spending, EV rules


19/07/24
News
19/07/24

Trump vows to target 'green' spending, EV rules

Washington, 19 July (Argus) — Former president Donald Trump promised to redirect US green energy spending to other projects, throw out electric vehicle (EV) rules and increase drilling, in a speech Thursday night formally accepting the Republican presidential nomination. Trump's acceptance speech, delivered at the Republican National Convention, offered the clearest hints yet at his potential plans for dismantling the Inflation Reduction Act and the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law. Without explicitly naming the two laws, Trump said he would claw back unspent funds for the "Green New Scam," a shorthand he has used in the past to criticize spending on wind, solar, EVs, energy infrastructure and climate resilience. "All of the trillions of dollars that are sitting there not yet spent, we will redirect that money for important projects like roads, bridges, dams, and we will not allow it to be spent on the meaningless Green New Scam ideas," Trump said during the final night of the convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Trump and his campaign have yet to clearly detail their plans for the two laws, which collectively provide hundreds of billions of dollars worth of federal tax credits and direct spending for renewable energy, EVs, clean hydrogen, carbon capture, sustainable aviation fuel, biofuels, nuclear and advanced manufacturing. Repealing those programs outright could be politically difficult because a majority of spending from the two laws have flowed to districts represented by Republican lawmakers. The speech was Trump's first public remarks since he was grazed by a bullet in an assassination attempt on 13 July. Trump used the shooting to call for the country to unite, but he repeatedly slipped back into the divisive rhetoric of his campaign and his grievances against President Joe Biden, who he claimed was the worst president in US history. Trump vowed to "end the electric vehicle mandate" on the first day of his administration, in an apparent reference to tailpipe rules that are expected to result in about 54pc of new cars and trucks sales being battery-only EVs by model year 2032. Trump also said that unless automakers put their manufacturing facilities in the US, he would put tariffs of 100-200pc on imported vehicles. To tackle inflation, Trump said he would bring down interest rates, which are controlled by the US Federal Reserve, an agency that historically acts independently from the White House. Trump also said he would bring down prices for energy through a policy of "drill, baby, drill" and cutting regulations. Trump also vowed to pursue tax cuts, tariffs and the "largest deportation in history," all of which independent economists say would add to inflation. The Republican convention unfolded as Biden, who is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, faces a growing chorus of top Democratic lawmakers pressuring him to drop out of the presidential race. Democrats plan to select their presidential nominee during an early virtual roll-call vote or at the Democratic National Convention on 19-22 August. By Chris Knigh t Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Japan’s Shizuoka Gas expands Indian gas presence


19/07/24
News
19/07/24

Japan’s Shizuoka Gas expands Indian gas presence

Tokyo, 19 July (Argus) — Japanese gas distributor Shizuoka Gas has ventured into India's biogas sector, buying a stake in Indian manure-based producer Farm Gas. Shizuoka Gas has bought 10pc of Farm Gas, a joint venture between Indian gas distributor IRM Energy and Indian consultant Eximius Resources, for an undisclosed sum. Shizuoka Gas previously bought a stake in Gujarat-based IRM Energy in 2021 , which supplies natural gas to the industrial sector. Farm Gas has been operating a biogas plant using cow dung and rice straw since December 2022. The manure-derived biogas is sold to auto firms as a vehicle fuel. The organic fertilizer produced as a by-product during the production process is sold to fertilizer companies and nearby farmers. Cow dung and rice straw creates air pollution, which is a huge problem in India, Shizuoka Gas said. It said it will build its experience in biogas production from the Farm Gas acquisition, with an aim to develop biogas plants in India and southeast Asia in the future. But shipping the biogas to Japan is not a current option, as Japan has already established pipeline gas supplies, it added. By Reina Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Australian Enterprise gas drives Beach’s Apr-Jun output


19/07/24
News
19/07/24

Australian Enterprise gas drives Beach’s Apr-Jun output

Sydney, 19 July (Argus) — Australian independent Beach Energy produced more gas and liquids during April-June than the previous quarter but ended its 2023-24 fiscal year to 30 June with output down against a year earlier. April-June sales gas production of 20.2PJ (539mn m³) was 10pc higher than the previous quarter's 18.3PJ and up on April-June 2023's 19.6PJ as it commissioned its Enterprise field in Victoria state's Otway basin. Beach's total 2023-24 production of 18.5mn bl of oil equivalent (boe) was 5pc down on the 19.5mn boe achieved in 2022-23, with natural field decline and rainfall resulting in Beach's oil output falling by 11pc from the previous quarter to 7,400 b/d from 8,300 b/d in January-March. The firm shipped a second 79,000t Waitsia cargo from the Woodside-operated 16.9mn t/yr North West Shelf LNG terminal during the quarter, consisting of Xyris gas plant production and third-party surplus gas sourced through swaps. It expects to achieve the first gas at its delayed 250 TJ/d (6.7mn m³/d) Waitsia gas plant in Western Australia's onshore Perth basin in early 2025 ahead of a 3-4 month ramp-up period. The firm has released a wider than usual production guidance for 2024-25 of 17.5mn-21.5mn boe, to account for uncertainty on the timing of Waitsia commissioning and output growth. Beach identified A$135mn ($90.5mn) in field operating cost savings and sustaining capital expenditure reductions as part of its strategic review findings released on 18 June. Beach confirmed it expects to recognise an A$365mn-400mn pre-tax impairment charge in its full-year results following reassessment of its Bass basin assets in Australia and Taranaki basin project in New Zealand. It is targeting new gas supplies of 150 TJ/d over the coming 12-18 months from the Enterprise, Thylacine West and Waitsia fields. By Tom Major Beach Energy results (mn boe) Apr-Jun '24 Jan-Mar '24 Apr-Jun '23 2022-23 2023-24 Production 4.8 4.5 5.0 19.5 18.2 Sales 5.4 4.8 5.7 20.7 21.3 Sales revenue (A$) 433 392 450 1,617 1,766 Realised gas price (A$/GJ) 10.30 9.70 9.50 8.80 9.50 Source: Beach Energy Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Generic Hero Banner

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more