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Natural gas prices plunge as Nord Stream resumes

Natural gas prices pinned a downward trend on Thursday as Russia resumed supplies via the Nord Stream pipeline to Europe.

Accordingly, US NGAS futures plummeted by 3.52% to $7.72 per metric million British thermal unit. This movement came in lower than the previous upsurge of 8.17%.

Similarly, the front-month Dutch TTF contract declined 4.20% at €148.65 per megawatt-hour. The level came in lower from the highs of the last two weeks. Previously, it soared on the European Commission’s warning of a total shutdown of Moscow’s natural gas supplies.

Data from the Nord Stream showed that gas flows reopened after ten days of planned annual maintenance. This report allayed the lingering fears of a permanent cut-off due to the war in Ukraine. It carries natural gas from Russia to northern Germany under the Baltic Sea.

However, the channel capped 40.00% of the usual rate, as had been the case before the maintenance period started. Russian gas monopoly Gazprom also confirmed that it would ship at just under 43.00 million cubic meters a day through the pipeline.

Another bearish factor, the Italian natural gas importer Eni also registered an increase in shipments from Moscow. The report posted 36.00 million cubic meters daily, from the previous 21.00 mcm/d.

Putin warns dwindling EU natural gas flows

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that natural gas supplies could be cut again. He cited that dwindling flows could depend on whether compression equipment would return promptly from maintenance.

Correspondingly, the European Commission confirmed that it will propose plans for a cut in natural gas use across the bloc. This announcement came in an effort to avert a supply crisis this winter.

Meanwhile, the improvement in short-term flows coincides with a more sinister turn of events in eastern Europe.

Still, Russia has denied Western accusations of using its energy supplies as a tool of coercion. The country even emphasized that it has been a reliable energy supplier. Moscow remains the world’s largest natural gas exporter.

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