The start of operations by the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the fourth quarter of this year could drive natural gas prices in Europe down to their lowest levels, Saxo Bank forecasts.
On Monday, Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, announced the start of the filling of the first string of the pipeline with gas in order to achieve the required pressure for further testing.
“If Russia manages to launch the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the fourth quarter, this could lead to a decline in natural gas prices to historic levels,” Saxo Bank’s experts said in a report.
According to the Head of Commodity Strategies at Saxo Bank Ole Hansen, “Unless a milder-than-usual winter happens or an increase in gas flows (from Russia via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline) or LNG occurs, then European consumers and energy-intensive industries will face gloomy and expensive times.”
Hansen also said that the sharp rise in gas and electricity prices is associated with the dissatisfaction of demand from producers. “Add to that the worst wind energy quarter in years, and pressure on conventional fuels like gas and even coal will increase. As a result, we are approaching winter with inventory levels in the northern hemisphere (both in the US and especially in Europe) well below the average observed in recent years,” he said.
Gas prices in Europe have been reaching new historic highs almost every single day lately. On Tuesday, the price of November futures on the Dutch TTF exchange surpassed $1,500 per 1,000 cubic meters, which is an all-time high.