The European Union (EU) has published the first LNG reference price for use in a market control mechanism to cap natural gas prices under regulations that take effect later this month. 

The reference price is an average of several liquefied natural gas indexes and benchmark prices that will be used to trigger the cap if prices climb too high. It was launched at $17.13/MMBtu on Thursday.

Under regulations released last month that will take effect in February, the price cap is activated if the front-month Title Transfer Facility (TTF) contract price exceeds 180 euros/MWh for three business days, or roughly $57/MMBtu. TTF would also have to be 35 euros/MWh, or about $11/MMBtu above the LNG reference price over the same period. 

The reference price will be published each weekday...