Soaring European gas futures have hit a historic maximum of $2, 800 per 1,000 cubic metres, according to London-based ICE exchange.
The April futures price at the TTF hub in the Netherlands rose to $2,610.7 per 1,000 cubic metres, or 231 euros per megawatt hour (MWh), based on the current euro/dollar exchange rate.
This comes after 4 March saw European gas futures prices hit a record high of $2,400 per 1,000 cubic metres amid the European energy crisis, which has been further exacerbated by sweeping anti-Russian sanctions triggered by Ukrainian crisis.
The price of gas on the stock exchange in Europe has broken historic records for four trading days in succession.
Gas prices in Europe have demonstrated strong volatility in recent days, surging after Russian President Vladimir Putin on 21 February recognized the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and on 24 February, at the request of the DPR and LPR, launched a special military operation aimed at demilitarizing and de-Nazifying Ukraine.
In response to the operation, which Moscow underscored was in no way targeting the population and sought to protect the people of Donbass, who have “who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.”, the EU unleashed tough anti-Russian sanctions.
However, in effect, a significant increase in gas prices in Europe began last spring, when the average spot price on the TTF hub index fluctuated in the range of $250-$300 per 1,000 cubic meters. At the end of summer, the value of a contract with a day-ahead delivery exceeded $600, and in early October it already stood at $1,000. The all-time high of $2,411 was reached on 4 March.
Experts attributed the soaring price to a range of factors, such as high demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Asia, limited supply from major suppliers, and low levels in European underground storages after a long cold winter and hot summer in 2021. Such persistently high prices have not been witnessed in the entire history of the operation of gas hubs in Europe – since 1996.
Source: Agencies (edited by Al-Manar English Website)