At the same time, EU countries are struggling to agree on their policy towards Nord Stream 2 – a joint project between Russian Gazprom and European energy giants, designed to deliver 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia per year. The pipeline has been facing sanctions pressure from the US, which wants the project to be shut down.
Gas prices continue to spike in the EU, with a thousand cubic metres of low-emission fuel having a price tag of $295 on the spot market at Dutch TTF on 2 May. Two days ago, the price already crossed the landmark of $286 – a level previously seen in January 2021 amid a notably cold winter in Europe.
The surprising growth in gas prices amid the coming of spring was facilitated by two factors – a general decline in gas stockpiles in the EU due to a cold winter and a reduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments. European gas storages are currently around 30% full, which is lower than the average level of 41% seen in the last five years. Also this year’s April was the first time that the EU’s gas stockpiles have diminished instead of expanded. The bloc is currently restoring its gas reserves by 0.1% per day.