Natural gas price outlook: Putin may be the solution to the energy crunch
- Natural gas price has been down by 14.42% since hitting its 7-year high in early October.
- President Putin has ordered the state-run gas company to increase supplies to Europe.
- Heightened supply may help stabilize prices ahead of the Northern hemisphere's winter season.
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Natural gas price remains above $5.00 despite declining significantly from its 7-year high. Russia is expected to increase supply to the European continent in the near term.
Natural gas price ended Friday’s session down by 3.04% at $5.57. While the commodity has remained above the crucial support zone of $5.00, it has dropped by about 14.42% from its 7-year high of 6.53. The aforementioned support zone has been a steady one since early September.
The recent decline in natural gas price is a reaction to President Putin’s call for the exportation of more gas to Europe. On Thursday, the Russian leader ordered the state-run gas company – Gazprom -to send more gas to Austria and the European continent as soon as it fills its domestic storage facilities. The firm’s underground storage in Central and Western Europe is significantly low. At this time of year, the facilities are usually almost full in preparation for the winter season in the northern hemisphere.
Russia is the key source of the natural gas consumed in the European continent. The country has been accused of holding back supplies; fueling the ongoing energy crunch. Besides, Asia has its hands on the US product, which would otherwise be headed to Europe.
Even with the recent decline, natural gas price in Europe is still over 5 times higher than it was in 2020 during the similar period. The amount of product in storage facilities is 15% lower than expected during this season. Futures will likely remain above $5.00 in the short term as demand heightens during the winter season.
Natural gas inventories
Data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday showed that the amount of natural gas in underground storage within the US was 3,548 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending on 22nd October. The number represents an increase of 87 Bcf from the previous week. However, the stocks remain 403 Bcf below last year’s levels during a similar period. It is also 126 Bcf lower than the 5-year average. In addition to Putin’s orders, EIA’s weekly report will influence prices in the new week.
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