Gas in Europe rises as supply returns with planned pipeline work

Natural gas prices in Europe continued to rise as fears of a prolonged shutdown by a major pipeline returned, threatening an already struggling economy.

Enchmark futures rose as much as 13 percent after closing at a record high on Friday. The vital Nord Stream pipeline will be suspended for three days on August 31 for maintenance, raising concerns again that the link will not resume operations as planned after the works. Europe has been on the brink for weeks in terms of shipments via the link, with shipments only resuming at very low levels when it was last shut down for works.

Separately, Germany warned Moscow against further reducing supplies and reiterated the call to save energy. “We are facing a very critical winter,” said Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck during a visit to Canada with Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the public broadcaster ZDF in Montreal. “We have to expect that Putin will continue to reduce the gas.”

European authorities have repeatedly warned of the possibility of a complete halt to Russian gas supplies as the Kremlin retaliates against sanctions imposed over its war in Ukraine. Germany, Europe’s largest gas consumer, is looking for alternatives but is unlikely to be able to replace all Russian imports. The nation is assessing the need to extend the lifespan of nuclear power plants, a move that would represent an about-face in the country’s energy policy.

On Friday, Gazprom said it needed work on the only working turbine capable of pumping gas into the link. The pipeline has been at just 20% utilization for weeks and European politicians insist the caps are politically motivated.

The Dutch front month contract, the European benchmark, rose to 275.97 euros per megawatt hour at 8.16 am in Amsterdam. He climbed Friday for the fifth straight run, the longest run this year. Gas in Europe rises as supply returns with planned pipeline work

Fry Electronics Team

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