Brussels (Brussels Morning) Natural gas prices in Europe rose more than 8% on Monday as the flow of Russian gas through the Yamal-Europe pipeline runs at low levels.
The rise of gas prices in Europe has pushed up energy prices, caused the collapse of British suppliers and has given rise to fears about its effects on inflation, Reuters reported Monday.
The Dutch front-month natural gas contract stood at 146 euro per MWh on Monday, nearing the record high of 155 established in October.
According to the German operator Gascade’s data, the flow of natural gas through the Yamal-Europe pipeline dropped on Friday as the Russian energy giant Gazprom started filling the second line of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Two main causes
ICIS market data company noted that “the renewed drop in flows to north-west Europe along one of three main pipelines coincides with both the start of linepacking of string 2 of Nord Stream 2, as well as unseasonably cold weather in Russia.”
Natural gas flow at the Mallnow metering point dropped to roughly 370,000 kWh/h on Monday, in contrast to Saturday and Friday, when gas flow exceeded 1.2 million and 10 million kWh/h, respectively.
In December, average flow through the pipeline stood between 9 and 12 million kWh/h.
Gazprom stressed that it “supplies gas in line with the requests from consumers and in full compliance with the current contractual obligations.”
The energy company did not book transit volumes via Yamal-Europe for this month. Instead, it buys volumes at daily auctions. According to auction results, Gazprom booked 8.3 million kWh/h for January next year, when 38.4 million kWh/h was on offer.
The company also booked transit capacity of 13.168 million cubic metres per day for January via the Veľké Kapušany station on the border between Slovakia and Ukraine.
The Veľké Kapušany metering point reported flow of 89.97 million cubic metres or 953,313 MWh on Monday, noting that levels have remained stable through December.
Also on Monday, US front-month gas contracts rose by about 6% due to cold weather forecasts and the rising prices in Europe.Global natural gas prices have been setting new records over the last months as markets try to stabilise from low European reserves and soaring Asian demand, where shortages have caused blackouts in China.