On December 9-11, 2020, the USAID Energy Security Project (ESP) conducted a three-day online training for traders in the gas market. More than 250 participants attended the training, including both newcomers to the sector working as traders or gas supply managers and more experienced professionals already operating in the area of regulatory or antimonopoly authorities.
Across the 3 days, the course was designed to allow participants to discover or develop further, their understanding of different market segments, including the roles of trader, customer, supplier, GTS operator and products traded in the market, mechanisms for regulating products and platforms, and cooperation between different regulators in the wholesale gas market as well as risk management and compliance.
For experienced participants (analysts, gas supply and trading managers, trade or risk managers), the training program outlined in detail the business processes in trade, the life-cycle of the transaction, and the role of analytics in a trading company. On trade operational aspects, the participants were presented information about the tools and resources used for gas trading internationally, improved their understanding of variables (volume and prices), the functioning of trade data (forward, day-ahead and intraday market data), and price change analysis principles on the price curve and the role of price agencies.
The training program, implemented by international gas markets expers Jan Heismann, Pablo Cansado and Sonia Auguscik, was designed to meet a divrse audience with a wide range of experience and expectations and allowed attendees to share their own experiences with GTS representatives and experts.
It was noted that by 2030, long-term gas supply contracts will be halved to promote better diversification of supply and create additional opportunities, including those for Ukraine. According to Mr. Haizmann, in continental Europe, the long-term contracts have already fallen to a minimum “take or pay” level while the purchases beyond them take place in the market. “There are no 20-year supply contracts; instead, they have been replaced by shorter contracts because customers need more flexibility,” the expert stated. Mr. Haizmann emphasized that in the modern gas market model, the gas hub is a marketplace, which brings together buyers and sellers on equal footing, and where producers, importers, storage operators, and companies offer gas for sale. “Hubs will develop, and Ukraine has the opportunity to have its hub,” the expert said.
Jan Haizmann specifically referred to the requirements of Regulation (EU) #1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 25, 2011 on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency. The Regulation establishes a legal basis to ensure the transparency and integrity of wholesale electricity and natural gas markets to prevent abuses and market manipulation, and insider trading.
In his closing remarks to the training participants, Sukru Bogut Senior Energy Advisor to the USAID Mission in Ukraine, emphasized the high level of interest in the training by Ukrainian gas market participants and stakeholders and expressed the hope that such training helped the participants to better understand European rules and requirements, regulation principles as well as practices related to gas trade regulation. He also noted high international interest in Ukraine, demonstrating a potential of the Ukrainian gas market to become the most important gas trading platform in the region.