Gas prices in Europe at their highest since March
Countries rush to fill storage facilities amid concerns over Russian supplies
Natural gas prices in Europe hit a three-month high on Thursday amid continued concerns over Russian supplies and EU efforts to fill storage facilities ahead of the start of the heating season.
August futures on the TTF shopping center in the Netherlands jumped 6.4% to $1,630 per thousand cubic meters or €149.15 ($155.05) per megawatt hour in household terms , according to data from the Intercontinental Exchange in London. It was the first time the price of natural gas exceeded this level since March 10.
On June 14, Russian gas exporter Gazprom cut supplies to Germany through the Nord Stream pipeline by 60%, citing technical problems due to Western sanctions linked to Ukraine. Following the decision, German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habek called for a reduction in gas consumption in the country, while several other EU countries announced measures to help them use less gas, including the revival of coal-fired power plants.
Meanwhile, Nord Stream is expected to undergo its regular annual maintenance from July 11 to July 21, according to operator Nord Stream AG, which will result in a temporary shutdown of the pipeline.
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Additionally, markets are concerned about the prospect of a gas price cap that was discussed at the G7 summit earlier this week, which some say could prompt Russia to cut off supplies to the EU. and look to other markets. Compounding the supply shortage, many European states may find it difficult to obtain liquefied natural gas (LNG) to replace Russian fuel due to growing demand in Asia, where demand for LNG is soaring due to an ongoing heat wave.
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