European natural gas rose after a two-day slump as traders weighed risks to Russian supplies against the continent’s drastic efforts to contain the energy crisis.
benchmark Dutch futures for October rose as much as 5.5 percent. A three-day shutdown of the vital Nord Stream pipeline began on Wednesday, and there are widespread concerns that Moscow will find another excuse to crack down on exports.
Separately, Gazprom PJSC said it would suspend gas sales to French utility Engie SA from Thursday over a payment disagreement.
The moves extend to the continent austerity measures that have already pushed inflation to the highest levels in decades and pushed European economies to the brink of recession.
Both Germany and France said they were much better prepared for Russian supply disruptions thanks to gas storage refills.
“As we expected, Russia is using gas as a weapon of war and using Engie’s implementation of contracts as a pretext to further cut French supplies, which have already fallen drastically,” French Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said on Wednesday. “We have all the means to deal with this situation and get through the winter.”
Still, the supply situation remains fragile amid competition from Asia for liquefied natural gas cargoes that have helped Europe fill the gap left by Russia. Another major supplier, Norway, has limited its gas exports during seasonal maintenance work, and more work is due next month.
European Union leaders are coming under increasing pressure to act, despite the bloc hitting its gas storage fill target two months ahead of schedule, as energy contracts trade at high levels across the continent. Details on how the EU intervention would work have yet to be worked out, with energy ministers set to discuss options at an emergency meeting on September 9.
Dutch gas for October, the current benchmark, was trading 4.6 percent higher at 277.50 euros per megawatt-hour as of 8:35 am in Amsterdam. The UK equivalent for the same month rose 6.8 percent. Prices have been extremely volatile over the past few days amid thin trading and a lot of uncertainty.
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/european-gas-rebounds-as-fears-mount-over-russian-supply-risks-41949580.html European gas rebounds as concerns mount over Russian supply risks