The Financial Timesb reports that utilities across Europe are enjoying a windfall, as a gas glut caused by excess liquefied natural gas shipments from Asia drives prices to multi-year lows. A mild Asian winter coupled with nuclear-plant restarts in Japan and ample supplies from the US and Russia have cut down deliveries of LNG to large buyers in the region.
The report says that “As prices for the supercooled fuel have fallen, hitting a three-year low, cargoes have been directed instead to Europe. That is pushing down prices there, too: the UK wholesale day-ahead gas price, for example, is trading just above 31p per therm, the lowest seasonal level since 2016 and below a 5-year average of 46p per therm.
“In the future, gas prices in Europe will be driven by LNG,” said Niall Trimble, managing director of oil and gas consultants The Energy Contract Company. LNG will also gain greater influence on European and UK gas markets as volumes from the region’s production areas in the North Sea, Netherlands and Norway decline.
The price moves show how gas markets around the world have become more connected thanks to increasing volumes of LNG cargoes moving the gas from one continent to another, freed from an old regime of rigid contracts with fixed destinations.