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Europe's gas jitters eased as Norway outage fix nears

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Europe’s gas jitters eased as Norway outage fix nears

Gas Pipe Eastmed Fysiko Aerio 10

    Europe’s gas market took a breather on Tuesday after news that repairs to a key Norwegian pipeline are expected to be completed by Friday.

    The outage, discovered on Monday in a two-inch section of Equinor’s offshore Sleipner Riser platform, had sent gas prices soaring to their highest level since December.

    The news of a limited repair timeline, however, brought some relief. European benchmark gas prices, which had spiked to €38.56 per megawatt hour (MWh) on Monday, fell 4% by Tuesday morning.

    The outage highlighted Europe’s dependence on Norwegian gas, particularly after Norway surpassed Russia as the continent’s biggest supplier in 2022.

    The disruption not only pushed European gas prices up but also impacted prices in the United States and Asia due to concerns about tightened global supply.

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    According to Norway’s gas pipeline operator, Gassco, repairs are expected to be completed by Friday, based on information from Equinor. While some delays or a faster fix are possible, weeks of downtime are not anticipated. Gassco will continue to update repair estimates on its website.

    Despite the positive outlook, Norwegian gas supply nominations remain below usual levels, although they did rise slightly on Tuesday. Nyhamna, the processing plant connected to the damaged pipeline, has a daily capacity of 79.8 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas.

    Britain’s Easington terminal, receiving the gas through the pipeline, has a daily capacity of 72.50 mcm.

    (With information from Reuters)

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