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Gas price spike underscores Europe’s vulnerability to global energy shocks

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Financial Times or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: European natural gas prices surged by nearly 40% on Wednesday due to concerns about possible strikes at Australian LNG projects, which provide about 10% of global seaborne gas supplies
• Europe's increased dependence on LNG after cutting off most Russian supplies has made its energy prices more sensitive to global supply disruptions

🔭 The context: After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Europe rapidly increased its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to replace Russian pipeline gas
• This shift has made the region more susceptible to global energy market fluctuations, as demonstrated by the recent price surge linked to potential disruptions in Australia

🌍 Why does it matter for the planet: Europe's energy transition is a crucial part of global efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and mitigate climate change 
• However, the shift towards LNG brings new challenges and vulnerabilities, reflecting the complexity of global energy dynamics and the need for diversification of energy sources

⏭️ What's next: Goldman Sachs has warned that European gas prices could double or even triple this winter
• Storage for winter demand is nearly full, but the market remains unstable due to potential supply disruptions and weather-related demand spikes
Europe's increased dependence on LNG may result in inter-regional bidding wars with other major importers like Japan, China, and South Korea

💬 One quote: “The potential for strike action at LNG export plants in Australia once again highlights the fact that we are now clearly in a globalised gas market. Europe has understandably backfilled Russian pipeline supply with versatile LNG. But that versatility leads to increased price volatility.” (Tom Marzec-Manser, energy consultancy ICIS)

📈 One stat: LNG made up 34% of the EU's gas imports last year, and that total is expected to rise to 40% in 2023, equating to the same importance Russian gas once had

Click for more news covering the latest on oil & gas

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