Missing supplies from Russia: Gas price in Europe rises to record high

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Gas has never been so expensive on the European energy markets: A megawatt hour now costs more than 340 euros there. Experts expect even higher prices in the fall.

Fears of a lack of gas supplies from Russia are driving the price of gas ever higher. The European natural gas futures contract for delivery in September on the energy exchange in Amsterdam rose by around ten percent on Friday afternoon to a record high of 343 euros per megawatt hour. The last time the gas price had reached similar heights was in March shortly after the start of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine.

The background to this are fears of shortages: Russian exporter Gazprom announced last week that it would interrupt gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline for three days from August 31 for maintenance work. This fueled concerns that the already severely curtailed flow of gas from Russia could stop completely if deliveries are not resumed.

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However, Gazprom itself had stated that operations should resume at the previous level after maintenance if there were no technical problems. Currently, the pipeline is operating at only 20 percent of its capacity, with a gas flow of 33 million cubic meters per day. Gazprom had also cited necessary maintenance work to justify this low volume. In the meantime, the company is apparently flaring huge quantities of gas at the compressor station near Portovaya due to the low delivery volumes, because the storage facilities in Russia are full.

Gas prices in Europe have more than tripled since the beginning of the year. According to experts, there is no end in sight. In October, gas prices are likely to take another leap upwards when many suppliers in Germany levy the gas surcharge for the first time, said Commerzbank economist Christoph Weil.

On Friday, German Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) again promised to review the design of the controversial gas levy. This is intended to make it more difficult for profitable companies to access the rescue aid. The ministry is looking at whether there are legally sound ways to sort out “free riders” again. In the case of the levy, there is a share of just under ten percent that is brought in by companies with a good profit balance. The principle of equality required this approach, he said. “Nevertheless, it was not meant that way. After all, we didn’t want to give companies that make good profits further opportunities to make profits,” Habeck said. However, a legally secure form must be found to prevent this.

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news source: https://www.spiegel.de

Salih Demir

Salih Demir lives in Germany. He is interested in politics and economy. Germany editor of -ancient idea- fikrikadim.com

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