Europe faces high gas prices
According to the ICE Futures exchange, on Friday, September 10, the October price of TTF natural gas futures exceeded $700 per thousand cubic meters. Earlier, it reached another high of €57.79 per kWh, or $707 per thousand cubic meters.
Analysts say that reports on the successful Nord Stream 2 completion by Gazprom did not boost gas prices. In August, the price of the TTF contract for natural gas was $533. In early September, it edged up to $639 per thousand cubic meters. Since the beginning of 2021, the price of the TTF contract for natural gas has averaged at $338 per thousand cubic meters.
The low level of gas inventories in Europe's underground storage facilities is believed to be behind the price increase. At the same time, liquefied natural gas is supplied in small amounts. Currently, there is about a month between pumping and withdrawal of gas from the underground storage facilities, and the level of reserves slightly exceeds 2/3. On Thursday, September 9, gas inventories totaled 69.74%. Analysts say this is 15.7 percentage points (p.p.) below the average level for the past five years.
At the end of August, Gazprom stopped pumping natural gas into Reden and Katharina underground gas storages located in Germany. Meanwhile, the company continues some injection into Austria's Haidach, Germany's Jemgum, and the Netherlands' Bergermeer gas storage facilities.