Prayers for a mild winter, we do not have natural gas reserves

However, there is not enough gas on the market to power the recovery from the pandemic and replenish depleted stocks before the cold months.

Stocks on our continent are at a record low during this period. Supplies of gas pipelines from Russia and Norway are limited. The crisis in Europe heralds problems for the rest of the planet, writes Bloomberg.

This is worrying because, due to calmer weather, there is no such production of electricity from wind turbines. Europe’s aging nuclear power plants are gradually being taken out of service and are more prone to outages.

Energy companies and politicians are praying at mild temperatures because it is too late to increase supplies.

All this increases the importance of gas. It is therefore not surprising that gas prices have risen by almost 500 percent in the last year and are trading close to record levels.

It is too late to increase supplies

This sharp growth has forced some fertilizer producers in Europe to cut production and more are expected to follow.

There is a risk that costs will rise for farmers, potentially raising food prices. In Britain, high energy prices have already forced several suppliers to close.

Gas prices are expected to rise further around the world, even if the cold weather in the northern hemisphere is as usual for this period.

Energy companies and politicians are praying at mild temperatures because it is too late to increase supplies.

Traders will carefully analyze any weather forecast published from now until December.

Everything is related to everything

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) importers in Asia are now paying record prices for this time of year to secure supplies, and some are turning to “dirtier” fuels in case supplies are insufficient. This could jeopardize governments’ plans for more ambitious environmental goals.

China, the world’s largest buyer of natural gas, has not replenished storage tanks enough, although according to customs, imports are almost double compared to last year.

If Chinese factories have to deal with a major power outage, global steel and aluminum prices will rise. To make matters worse, the country is also facing a shortage of coal.

Energy companies in Japan and South Korea are largely protected by long-term LNG contracts linked to oil prices.

Even so, Korea Electric Power announced on September 23 that it would increase electricity prices for the first time in almost eight years.

A sudden cooling could force other energy companies to enter the spot market and buy emergency gas supplies at record high prices. That happened last winter.

The world is on the verge of an energy war

The cost of securing LNG supplies has caused a political rift in Pakistan. Opposition politicians are demanding an investigation into the state importer’s purchases.

The world is facing a massive battle between Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America for LNG supplies from exporters such as Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA.

US exporters are ready to supply more LNG than ever before, as new projects will be launched later this year. But because more gas travels abroad, less will be available at home.

Although gas prices in the US are significantly lower than in Europe and Asia, they are still trading close to the highest level since 2014.

Gas reserves are then below the five-year seasonal average. Yet U.S. shale miners are reluctant to increase mining because fears it will reduce their profitability and discourage investors.

The US Energy Consumers Association has asked the US Department of Energy to limit US exports until stocks return to normal. This could further exacerbate the shortage abroad.

The average person did not usually pay much attention to the development of market gas prices before. This is not the case with oil, where OPEC’s decision will almost immediately affect how much we pay for gas stations.

But this winter, the world is likely to find out how much the global economy depends on natural gas.