Nord Steam 2 dispute sparks further gas price rises in Europe

A new wave of electricity and natural gas price increases has been triggered by the German energy regulator Bundesnetzagentur’s decision to suspend company certification procedures for Nord Stream 2 AG, operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline running directly from Russia to Germany through the North Sea but not yet launched.

European markets have interpreted the regulator’s decision as a sign of further deterioration in the ties between Moscow and the European Commission over this new and controversial pipeline project, running parallel to the existing Nord Stream 1.

It has been fiercely opposed by some European countries standing to lose considerable amounts in gas transmission revenues. The project’s delayed launch has prompted a gas supply cutback from Russia’s Gazprom, resulting in higher prices throughout Europe as temperatures drop.

In response to the German energy regulator’s certification suspension of the Nord Stream 2 AG company, December contract prices at the Dutch TTF hub rose sharply to 89.5 euros per MWh yesterday, up 12 percent from a level of 79.9 euros per MWh a day earlier.

The German regulator’s decision also impacted the Greek energy exchange, its day-ahead market average for today rising 6.8 percent to an exorbitant 254.33 euros per MWh, the highest in Europe, where inconceivable gas prices are widespread.

Romania was ranked second with a gas price of 248.6 euros per MWh, followed by Bulgaria (€248.09), Italy (€244.99) and Hungary (€244.03). Prices were considerably lower in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.