The escalating war in Ukraine following last week’s invasion by Russian forces has increased fears of natural gas shortages in the European market, which has led to a new price surge, adding to the price ascent prompted by the preceding energy crisis.
Markets are now jittery over concerns that the ongoing bombardments in Ukraine could damage gas pipelines running across the country. The prospect of a Russian retaliation to stricter sanctions threatened by the west is another concern pressuring markets.
Greece is in a somewhat sheltered position as the country imports Russian gas quantities via the Turkstream pipeline, crossing the Black Sea, but, given the overall developments, Athens cannot remain complacent.
The country’s crisis management committee will be meeting again today to discuss measures should the adverse conditions created by Russia’s war in Ukraine deteriorate further.
Greek authorities are expected to try and maintain reserves at the country’s LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, as close as possible to full capacity, and use pipeline gas to the fullest extent.
The country’s gas needs for March have been fully covered by four LNG shipment orders – two by Elpedison, and one each by Mytilineos and DEPA – expected at the Revythoussa terminal. Additional orders could be placed if needed. LNG orders have yet to be placed for April.
Natural gas prices surged yesterday, ending the day at 121 euros per MWh. At such a level, retail electricity prices could reach close to 300 euros per MWh. Today’s retail electricity price is 254.94 euros per MWh.
Europe now appears determined to reduce its dependency on Russian gas, covering between 40 and 45 percent of the continent’s needs. The issue has become a top priority on the EU agenda, but the road towards achieving this objective remains unclear.