The European prices of natural gas further rose as Russia cut shipments to top buyers in Germany, Italy and France.
The June 20 data from Intercontinental Exchange, a company that operates global financial exchanges, shows that the European benchmark for natural gas, the Dutch TTF front-month gas futures contracts, rose about 4.2 percent to 122.7 euros or $129.30 per megawatt-hour as of 7:26 p.m. on June 20 in Amsterdam.
The hike came up after rallying 43 percent last week as Russia’s steep supply cuts drove concerns about critical shortages and rationing.
Leaders in Germany and Italy called Russia’s reductions a political move, and that move exacerbated the energy tensions in Europe. Russia recently cut off natural gas to Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, the Netherlands, and Denmark.
“Security of supply is currently guaranteed. But the situation is serious,” Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck stated.
“Both we and Germany and others maintain it is a lie, there’s a political use of gas by Russia,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said last week that the reduced flows are related to problems with the turbines essential for the functioning of the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Peskov said Russia has enough gas and can supply the European Union (EU), but the turbines have to be returned after maintenance.
Europe has been exerting efforts to reduce gas imports from Russia by 66 percent toward the end of the year. They have been getting more imports of liquid gas from the United States, but a fire in key export facility in Texas tore up 20 percent of America’s export capacity.
Timera Energy, a power and gas market analysis firm, said the EU’s effort to replace Russian flows with liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports won’t have immediate impact due to four- to five-year lead time to bring online new capacity.
“This means that new investment won’t have an impact until at least 2026. In the meantime, Europe will need to battle with Asia and Latin America for any incremental LNG supply to facilitate the reduction of Russian pipeline imports. That means prices going up as we saw last week,” the company’s analysts stated.
To cope with diminished gas flows from Russia that could bring a winter energy crisis, European countries, including Germany and Italy, resorted to their contingency plan to burn more coal during this “transitional period.”
Habeck on Sunday, June 19, warned that the situation is going to be “really tight in winter” without precautionary measures to prevent a supply shortage. As a result, Germany will seek to compensate for a cut in Russian gas supplies by increasing the burning of coal – the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel in terms of emissions and therefore the most important target for replacement in the transition toward renewable alternatives.
“That’s bitter, but it’s almost necessary for this situation to reduce gas consumption. We must and we will do everything we can to store as much gas as possible in summer and autumn,” Habeck said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Gazprom informed Eni, the leading operator in refining and marketing petroleum products in Italy, that it will only receive part of its request for gas supplies this week.
Reuters said on June 17 that an Italian state of alert may be declared. The emergency alert protocol would trigger a series of measures aimed at reducing the consumption of gas, including rationing the gas to selected industrial users, ramping up the production at the country’s coal power plants and also asking for more gas imports from other suppliers. (Related: Collapse incoming: European nations start RATIONING food and fuel.)
Visit FuelSupply.news for more news related to the Russian oil embargo’s effects on the European gas supply.
Watch the below video detailing how Russia’s reduced gas flow to Europe is causing double-digit gas prices.
This video is from the High Hopes channel on Brighteon.com.