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European Gas Market To Remain Tight This Year: Equinor


Europe’s natural gas market is likely to remain tight this year as governments scramble to refill storage amid lower Russian supplies, Equinor Chief Executive Officer Anders Opedal said.

  • Equinor’s warning comes despite a recent decline in gas prices and European storage levels well above the seasonal norm but the region remains exposed to any further supply disruptions and vies with Asia for flows of LNG.
  • “The gas stores are pretty full and it is warm weather, and that affects the gas price, but these stores need to be filled up this year with less Russian gas available. We are likely to see a market where gas prices are swinging quite a lot, ”Opedal said.
  • Benchmark gas futures rose as much as 5.7% on Thursday, clawing back some of Wednesday’s 10% loss. The volatility underscores traders’ concern that Europe is fundamentally short of gas for the next few years, with no major new LNG export projects starting globally in the near term.
  • Norway has become the region’s biggest gas supplier after Russia’s shipments slumped in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. The Norwegian government said Thursday that flows this year will be little changed from 2022, when the country exported 122bcm of gas.
  • “On an annual basis, we kept to our maintenance schedule and we will continue to do that in 2024 and 2025, because security of supply comes first. If we don’t keep to our maintenance schedule, we may end up with a stoppage in gas deliveries to Europe and that isn’t what anyone wants,” he said.

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