British and European wholesale gas prices have risen to new highs today, intensifying the energy crunch, as supply concerns increase.
Uncertainty about Russian gas flows pushed up prices, with a three-day shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipline for maintenance scheduled for next week.
Russia’s Gazprom said today that said no turbines used on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline were undergoing maintenance in Canada, a day after a Canadian minister was quoted as saying five turbines were there.
Nord Steam 1 is already running at just 20% capacity, and there are concerns that it might not resume operation next month after the temporary shutdown (from 31st August to 2nd September).
UK wholesale gas for delivery next month has jumped almost 10% today to 600p per therm, which would be highest settlement price ever. A year ago it was around 110p/therm.
UK wholesale gas for Q1 2023 has risen 14% to 790p per therm, while the summer 2023 contract is up 13.6% at 660p/therm, showing that prices are expected to remain very high next year.
The Dutch contract for September delivery a European benchmark, rose by €15.95 to €315.95 per megawatt hour (MWh) this morning, a fresh record high, while the December price was €30.55 higher at €319.75 euros/MWh.
Electricity prices in Germany and France are at new records too.
Several of EDF’s nuclear power reactors in France, which have been offline for repairs, have seen their restart pushed back to at least mid-November in an adjustment of outage schedules, Reuters points out, further delaying 5.2 gigawatts (GW) of supply at a time of historically low availability