New gas marketplace

January 31, 2003, 16:00 CET

The first transactions have been carried out in Germany’s new North-West European (NWE) Hub marketplace for natural gas, operated through the HubCo company part-owned by Statoil.

Located in the Emden-Bunde area of north-western Germany, this marketplace started trading on 30 January.

HubCo – short for NWE Hub Services Company – is a commercial collaboration established by Statoil with Germany’s Ruhrgas and BEB.

“The goal is to provide a simpler and better process for the players involved in gas purchase and sale,” explains Karsten Stoltenberg.

Employed in the Natural Gas business area, he is Statoil’s project manager for further development of HubCo.

“The company pursues this objective by tying several pipelines together into a single marketplace. It’s a pure operator, and will not be involved in trading.”

HubCo has so far entered into agreements with Ruhrgas, BEB, Statoil, Verbundnetz Gas and TotalFinaElf, and a number of other companies have also shown interest.

The actual transactions take the form of buyer and seller informing HubCo about the trades they have made.

If these mean that gas must be supplied to or from NWE Hub, this must also be notified to the company.

HubCo registers and processes all the information in its own computer system, and ensures that gas deliveries match reported customer requirements.

The Emden/Bunde region is a hub for gas flows from Norway, Germany, Russia and the Netherlands.