Natural gas prices in Europe explode to all-time highs as major Russian flow stops

Natural gas prices in Europe explode to all-time highs as major Russian flow stops

Natural gas prices in Europe exploded on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, after a major pipeline that brings Russian gas to Europe slowed output over the past couple of days and completely stopped delivering on Tuesday. This combined with record-high prices of electricity after France closed 4 of its largest nuclear reactors last week, low wind energy output, and cold weather to further deteriorate Europe's energy stability ahead of very cold Christmas and New Year.

On Saturday, December 18, gas flow at the Mallnow metering point on the German-Polish border sharply dropped from around 13 500 000 kWh/h to 2 250 000 kWh/h and to 1 800 000 kWh/h on December 19. The flow further dropped to 1 634 206 on December 20 until it completely stopped early December 21.1

The westward flow was still 0 as of 08:30 UTC on December 22.

As a result, the front-month wholesale Dutch gas price (European benchmark) rose to all-time high of 180.27 EUR per MWh on December 21.  On July 5, 2021, it was 37.95 EUR per MWh and on October 5 116.8 EUR per MWh.

To put these prices in perspective, take a look at numerical and percentage data for 2021 (first two graphs) and all-time data (graphs 3 and 4).

"Europe has very little storage buffer this winter and it's balance is therefore a lot more dependent on imports than in previous years," James Waddell, head of European gas at Energy Aspects, said.2

"Additionally, Gazprom has traditionally shipped around 20% of its supply to Europe through Poland, but these flows have been inconsistent this year and driving up uncertainty about how much gas Europe will actually receive from Russia."

On Monday, December 20, European electricity prices also surged to record highs after France announced the closure of four of its largest nuclear reactors.3 

To meet the rising energy demand, French power giant EDF restarted fossil fuel generators and the same is hapening with some other producers.

References:

1 Mallnow metering point entry/exit data accessed December 22 - GasCade

2 European gas prices hit record as Russian flows via Yamal reverse - Reuters

3 Electricity prices in Europe surge to record highs - The Watchers

Featured image credit: tradingeconomics


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Comments

Gravity 28 days ago

European members have decided not to be beholden to Russia for fuel/energy. There might be corruption from individual government officials - but definitely among the profiteering private energy providers. There are currently many global supply/demand problems that unfortunately are hurting the poor worst. Even the emerging superpower China is enduring an unprecedented energy shortage. The transition to new energy technologies is incomplete, but once we stop using fossil fuels this won't be an issue. So many kooks in the comments section. Such a shame.

Agreatdaytocome (@Gravity) 25 days ago

"Stop using fossil fuels ..." Are you crazy or bought into the 90% population reduction?

Nim 1 month ago

Notwithstanding what the MSM and euro politicians falsely claim, Germany is selling the gas from Gasprom (who are honoring their written contracts) to Poland at a huge profit, bypassing the German consumers who should be rioting in the streets (or is it too cold?)

Dawnie R 1 month ago

Isn't Socialism (& SLAVERY) just so WONDERFUL?! This is what happens when a population sits on their azz, and lets govt 'take care of them' (while they STEAL MASSIVE amounts of $$$, that they call 'taxes'), and the population has NO CLUE what is going on around them (their CRIMINAL/CORRUPT governments)!!! This is what happens to ZOMBIES! (*hint* *hint*.....it's ALL BY DESIGN/ENGINEERED by their criminal politicians!!)

Bill (@Dawnie R) 1 month ago

Why is socialism so popular? It's easy. It's all free. You just take it from the person who is a little more successful. However, it is weird that socialism tend to benefit the banks & big tech more than the average voter.

prioris (@Bill) 1 month ago

one of the least socialist countries in world is china. they don't have a social security system

Bill 1 month ago

A few years past there didn't seem to be this problem. However, things change. But now we don't have to worry about mean tweets.

Agreatdaytocome (@Bill) 25 days ago

So true.

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