Russia-Ukraine crisis could spark rise in Europe’s gas prices

Growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine have solid a shadow over vitality markets, and the uncertainty could imply a protracted interval of excessive gas prices for Europe, analysts say.

"It's a very tight gas market … and there's no question that this sense of imminent crisis building with Russia and Ukraine is also hanging over the market, particularly since Russia does provide about 35% of Europe's gas," vitality skilled Dan Yergin instructed CNBC on Monday.

If the crisis escalates, gas prices in Europe – which soared to highs final 12 months – could surge additional, warned analysis agency Capital Economics in a notice over the weekend.

William Jackson, chief rising markets economist at Capital Economics identified that in addition to Europe's reliance on Russia for gas, inventory provides are additionally low proper now.

"Were sanctions to be placed on Russia's energy exports or were Russia to use gas exports as a tool for leverage, European natural gas prices would probably soar," he stated.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have ratcheted up in current months amid a number of reviews that Russian troops have amassed on the border with Ukraine.

The improvement prompted hypothesis that Russia is making ready to invade the nation and set off fears of a repeat of Moscow's unlawful annexation and occupation of Crimea in 2014. Moscow has repeatedly denied these allegations.

Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces, the army reserve of the Ukrainian Armes Forces, holding wood replicas of Kalashnikov rifles, participate in a army train close to Kiev on December 25, 2021.Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

Talks geared toward defusing the crisis ended final week with none breakthrough.

U.S. representatives and NATO members emerged from a number of days of high-stakes discussions with prime Russian officers with no decision – however with warnings that the state of affairs alongside the Ukraine border is in truth getting worse.

The imminent crisis has sparked discuss the U.S. could impose sanctions on Russia to cease the Kremlin from invading Ukraine.

If that occurs, in accordance with Capital Economics, European gas prices will most likely exceed the height of 180 kilos per MWh seen late final 12 months.

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"And some states that are very heavily dependent on Russian gas, particularly in Eastern Europe, might be forced to ration power," Jackson added.

A large gas crunch in Europe in the third quarter final 12 months led to European energy prices spiraling to multi-year highs.

European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis instructed CNBC that tensions with Russia are "a cause of concern," not solely because of safety dangers however they could even have "an economic dimension."

Spanish Finance Minister Nadia Calvino additionally added in an interview with CNBC that "everybody is very well aware that we have to take very seriously the geopolitical situation and the possible impact on energy prices. And we have to provide a European response as soon as possible."

Gas provides from Russia decrease than standard

As it’s, gas provides from Russia had been already decrease than standard, Jefferies identified in a notice on Sunday.

Imports of gas from Russia into Northwestern Europe from the August to December interval had been down by 38% in comparison with the identical interval in 2018, in accordance with the U.S. funding financial institution.

Gas stockpiles in Europe are additionally decrease than common – and are down by 21% as of Jan. 12, versus the five-year common, the agency stated.

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"We expect the period of high natural gas prices to be protracted. Gas flows from Russia will remain low as we enter the 2021/22 heating season with record low stockpiles," stated Jefferies.

"There was this tendency when this crisis began late last year, to say 'oh it's a one-off,'" Yergin stated, referring to the European gas crunch in 2021. "But if you look at the demand trends, level of investment, you could see this being recurrent."

— CNBC's Silvia Amaro contributed to this report.

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