The Role of the ESP in Gazprom’s European Sales Strategy
Gazprom Export launched its Electronic Sales Platform (ESP) in the context of an increasingly competitive European market. Sales volumes have grown, and have averaged 2 bcm per month since April 2019. As a result of this growth, the ESP is now a key part of Gazprom’s European sales strategy: It generates additional sales revenues, optimises Gazprom’s use of is physical export infrastructure, and provides a constant flow of valuable market data that informs Gazprom’s wider sales strategy. Sales are largely concentrated in four countries, while deliveries are split between Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian routes. ESP sales prices closely track European hub prices for comparable products, and the sales volumes show that Gazprom’s counterparties consider the ESP an attractive offering. The operation of the ESP highlights the crucial element of Gazprom’s European sales strategy: The importance of nuanced optimisation, as Gazprom seeks to maximise its sales volumes without placing excessive downward pressure on European hub prices that would impact revenues from its hub-indexed LTC portfolio. Overall, the ESP demonstrates how far Gazprom has evolved in the past decade, as it seeks to retain market share on an increasingly competitive European market.