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Nord Stream Facility

Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 1' gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany, March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

German Says Gas Prices May Have Stalled

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July 17, 2022

By Alexey Anishchuk (Bloomberg) –The risk of a cutoff in Russian gas supplies appears to be fully priced by the market, the head of Germany’s top power grid regulator said in an interview. 

There was no significant jump in prices last week when the Nord Stream 1 pipeline closed for maintenance, Klaus Mueller, head of the Federal Network Agency, told Bild am Sonntag. That “could mean that the markets have already priced in the loss of Russian gas supplies, and that we have reached a gas price plateau.”

The pipeline is due to restart on Thursday, but Russia has so far kept European customers and governments guessing if that will happen or not. Nord Stream 1 is the main gas artery to Germany.

European natural gas prices slumped last week as Norwegian flows returned to normal after unplanned outages, easing concerns over German storage levels and supplies from Russia. The benchmark contract posted its first weekly drop in more than a month.

Uniper SE, Germany’s top buyer of Russian gas, started withdrawing fuel from storage sites to supply its customers, the company said in a statement to Bloomberg News on Friday. German countrywide storage levels were unchanged at 64.5% as of Friday, the grid operator said.

Mueller urged solidarity with Germany’s European neighbors in handling the gas crisis, saying Berlin should stand ready to provide fuel from storage to help others in need.

“Just as we are currently benefiting from the liquefied natural gas ports in Belgium and the Netherlands, we also have an obligation to help our neighboring countries in an emergency to supply private households or hospitals,” he said.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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