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The Graphic Truth: EU natural gas prices plunge

For months, Europe has been bracing for an energy crisis as it weans itself off Russian oil and natural gas amid the ongoing onslaught in Ukraine. But mother nature has given European countries a helping hand in recent weeks by keeping temperatures mild across much of the Northern Hemisphere – and reducing demand for gas needed to heat homes. As a result, the Dutch gas trading exchange – a benchmark for measuring natural gas prices – has plummeted by 80% from an August high and is now below pre-war levels. This is a welcome development for European governments that have already taken measures to curb consumption and shield consumers from high prices. We take a look at European natural gas prices since Jan. 2022.

A worker turns a valve at a Russian oil field near the Ural Mountains.

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

The worst may be yet to come in Russia-Ukraine energy crisis

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted fears of a disruption of oil and gas supplies to Europe, sending prices to new highs. Brent crude futures reached $105 per barrel in the immediate aftermath of the news before falling back; European natural gas prices jumped by as much as 25%.

Coming at a time of already tight supplies, the conflict is bound to maintain upward pressure on prices, unless it becomes clear that Russian exports will not be interrupted. The impact will be felt directly by US consumers and others, and it will contribute further to already-high inflation.

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