Warm winter eases EU gas crisis
January 18, 2023 - The wholesale price of natural gas in Europe has fallen to a 17-month low of just over €60 per megawatt hour, down more than 82% from a peak of almost €340 in late August.
Unseasonably mild weather has resulted in EU gas demand falling by more than 20 per cent since the start of the heating season. On average, the coming days are typically the coldest of the year, and temperatures from London to Berlin, have now dropped to freezing.
But even if this winter turns out to be colder than usual, Europe has enough gas in storage to avert the worst-case scenario of running out.
Between December 19 and January 15, however, North-West Europe enjoyed 29 consecutive days of above-normal temperatures that reduced heating demand significantly.
On January 15, inventories across the European Union and the United Kingdom amounted to 922 terawatt-hours (TWh), Reuters reported, citing Gas Infrastructure Europe. Stocks were 268TWh above the prior ten-year average.
Stocks are on course to end the winter at the highest level on record -- with storage sites at more than 54 per cent.
Futures prices for deliveries in March 2023 have almost halved to €56 per megawatt hour from €110 on December 19 and €177 at the start of winter.