European gas prices hit 4-month high
Natural gas spot prices in Europe surpassed $1,900 per thousand cubic meters on Thursday for the first time since early March, according to London ICE data.
The August futures price at the TTF hub in the Netherlands increased to $1,926 per thousand cubic meters, or €182.65 per megawatt-hour in household terms for European consumers. Overall, prices were up by 7% since the start of trading on Thursday.
Gas prices in Europe have doubled over the month, although they remain below the all-time high of $3,900 per thousand cubic meters reached on March 7.
The price spikes come as European governments scramble to fill underground gas storages in an effort to provide households with enough fuel to keep the lights on and homes warm during the winter.
The EU, which receives around 40% of its gas from Russia, is trying to wean itself from those imports. Last month, Gazprom slashed its supplies via the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany by 60%, citing technical issues stemming from Ukraine-related sanctions. The pipeline is also due to close for its annual 10-day maintenance next week, which has stoked fears that the gas flow won’t be turned back on.
However, further problems on the European energy front were averted Wednesday after Norway put an end to a strike by the country’s oil and gas workers. Had the situation not been resolved, natural gas prices in Europe would have been sent back to — or even exceeded — their all-time highs reached in March, Rystad Energy analyst Lu Ming Pang told CNBC.
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