At the end of June, gas prices in Europe increased six times year-on-year and are still rising, Sputnik quoted European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni in a report on Thursday.
"Commodity prices are being showing signs of easing lately, in the face of global weakness; however, gas is an exception. Interruptions in Russian gas supply and concerns of the further cuts pushed the European benchmark gas up again. By end June it was trading at 140 euro per megawatt\hour – more than 6 times the price one year earlier. But this price continues to rise after our cut of date, reaching 173 euro per megawatt\hour on July the 12," Gentiloni said during a briefing.
Gentiloni also said that a complete halt in gas supplies from Russia would bring the European economy to "negative territory."
"This scenario (halt in Russian gas supplies) would bring our economy into negative territory, which is, with this carry-over impact, quite substantial, of course," Gentiloni added.
In mid-June, Russia's energy giant Gazprom significantly cut gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline due to technical issues at the Portovaya compressor station, where only three gas compressor units were functioning after Germany's Siemens delayed maintenance works. Moscow repeatedly warned that further delays in the maintenance could lead to a total halt of gas flows through the pipeline network to Europe.
Earlier in the day, the pipeline's operator, Nord Stream AG, announced it would stop the deliveries for regular annual maintenance, including testing of mechanical components and automation systems. Maintenance is expected to take place between July 11 and 21. Some countries including Germany and Austria have expressed fears that the supplies may decline or halt even after the work is completed.
Since 2021, energy prices in Europe have been surging as part of a global trend. After the beginning of Russia's operation in Ukraine and the adoption of several packages of sanctions against Russia by the West, the situation with energy prices has considerably worsened.