Thursday marked the resumption of the flow of Russian natural gas into Europe through a crucial pipeline, but Europe's supply concerns persist in light of the possibility of winter fuel shortages.
Flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline returned to 40 percent of capacity on Thursday, one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to resume gas exports while still warning that supplies may be further reduced. As long as Nord Stream deliveries remain substantially below the pipeline's maximum capacity, European governments are preparing for permanent energy insecurity.
According to Trading Economics, the resumption of Russian natural gas exports decreased European natural gas prices by 5 percent on Thursday to about $157.50 per megawatt-hour. Energy costs have skyrocketed as a result of a 14 percent decline in prices over the past week, a doubling of prices this year, and a fourfold increase from one year ago.
According to an emergency gas rationing plan proposed by the European Commission, Germany and other European Union nations that depend heavily on Russian gas imports are desperate to stockpile and save fuel for the winter. According to a press release, the European Central Bank also announced on Thursday that economic activity in Europe is slowing as it moves to raise interest rates to combat the worsening economic malaise caused by high energy costs and inflation.
Reuters reported that annual maintenance halted deliveries on July 11, but sanctions and disputes over Russia's invasion of Ukraine reduced deliveries to 40 percent of the pipeline's capacity. In addition, the war in Ukraine is cutting off pipeline routes and causing other supply chain problems.
When asked for comment, Nord Stream directed the Daily Caller News Foundation to its press release from Thursday.
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