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European Natural Gas Prices Drop to Three-Month Low Despite Russian Supply Threats
European natural gas prices continued declining Monday to the lowest point in three months on mild weather forecasts and reports of heightened storage, despite threats from Russia of a complete end to pipeline exports.
After a brief mid-week jump last Wednesday (Oct. 12), natural gas linked to the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) benchmark continued October’s downward trend as European Union storage levels reached above 92% of capacity. Monday marked the fourth consecutive day of declining prices, with the TTF dropping below $40/MMBtu for the first time since June.
“The situation is attributed to several countries in Europe announcing that the supply picture is healthy ahead of the upcoming winter, while mild and windy weather means that demand has not really started to rise yet at this point of time,” analysts with European trading firm Energie Danmark wrote.
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The prompt TTF closed at around $37 on Monday, a nearly $4 drop from Friday.
Meanwhile, the European Commission could consider energy price cap policies later in the week, including a cap on Russian natural gas and oil. In response, one of Russia’s top natural gas firm executives threatened the future supply outlook for the continent.
Gazprom PJSC’s CEO Alexey Miller, during Russia’s recent Energy Week Forum, said any proposal to cap the price on its commodities would be considered “a violation of the essential contract terms,” and would result in a complete cutoff from the state-owned firm.
“Winter can be relatively warm, but one week or even five days will be abnormally cold and it’s possible that whole towns and lands, God forbid, will freeze,” Miller said, according to published reports from Russian state media.
Russia has reduced flows of natural gas and ended contracts with some countries since its February invasion of Ukraine. In addition, possible sabotage to the Nord Stream systems completely closed the main route for western flows.
Much smaller volumes of Russian gas are still entering European Union countries through the Sudzha hub on the border with Ukraine and the TurkStream pipeline. Austria, Hungary and Italy are still directly buying gas from Russia through these points. Other countries like Bulgaria, which was cutoff by Gazprom earlier in the year, is still receiving large amounts of Russian gas from third parties.
The UK’s National Balancing Point (NBP) prompt price also continued to fall as the Bank of England agreed to back a financial scheme to support domestic energy firms. The NBP closed at around $26, a nearly $3 drop from Friday and the lowest point since May.
The UK’s government recently launched applications for energy traders to apply for a piece of $45.1 billion in guarantees outlined in its Energy Markets Financing Scheme.
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