European gas prices continue to make headlines. The continent is relying on Russia for around 35 per cent of its natural gas supply. With the increasing tensions between Russia and the West continuously disrupting supplies, they have been even lower than usual.
European gas storage supplies are also low. They are mainly used as buffers during high demand and tight supply. However, storage levels are low due to two main factors:
the delayed and prolonged cold winter of Q1-2021;
the struggle to rebuild gas stocks during the summer period of 2021 due to the incredible hot weather.
Power and gas demand has also been strong in Asia which pulls LNG away from Europe. This is due to a combination of:
• the 2021 post-COVID economic recovery;
• the cold winter of Q1-2021;
• the determination of the LNG buyers not to be ‘caught short’ in the winter of 21/22.
Severe drought in South America has limited hydroelectric output and this has pulled a significant amount of Atlantic’s LNG volumes.
On top of this, various LNG facilities have experienced outages. This has taken a significant volume of LNG supply off the market. i.e., The Hammerfest plant has been out of service since September 2020.
High European carbon prices have forced power generators to cut coal and use more gas. Carbon prices in Europe reached all times highs in 2021 as the EU reduced the supply of emissions credits, forcing highly polluting providers of energy production to reduce their reliance on coal.
CATEGORIES:BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTS & PROJECTSPosted:8 days agoThanos Felios, LNG Analyst at SSY commented: “The very high LNG pricing environment that we are witnessing in Europe is unprecedented. The situation that we are seeing continues a rhetoric of extreme Gas/LNG pricing volatility. This in turn has resulted in a more and more volatile shipping market.”
“Over the last 18 months, since the end of the first European covid-19 lockdown, LNG shipping has seen monumental highs in terms of “dollar per day” charter rates. We have also witnessed, as we are now, very low charter rates and rising shipping availability. In simple terms many more ships are staying in the Atlantic Basin (due to high EU demand) and not sailing to the Far East during the end of winter/start of spring. This has resulted in shorter tonne miles and less demand for tonnage to transport the LNG molecules.”