Putin's incidental remarks cause gas prices in Europe to fall

Russian President Vladimir Putin caused prices on natural gas in Europe to fall with only one phrase that he said, the German publication Die Welt wrote.

The authors of the article in the German newspaper said that on October 27, during a cabinet meeting, Russian President Putin instructed Gazprom to fill underground gas storage facilities in Germany and Austria. Additional fuel volumes will stabilise prices on the European energy market, Putin noted. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller assured the President that the concern would proceed to act so to finish the gas injection process until November 8. Putin instructed Miller to inform him about the progress.

It was because of those nearly incidental remarks that gave European countries an opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief, the publication says. Against the backdrop of the above-mentioned statements, gas prices in Europe began to fall. In particular, gas futures prices in the Netherlands fell by 15 percent.

According to Bloomberg, Norway's international energy company Equinor will come to Europe's rescue should the continent suffer from the shortage of gas. The company, Gazprom's major competitor, will increase gas supplies to the European market.

Ukraine also made a proposal to use its underground gas storage facilities (UGS) to store strategic fuel reserves. The gas storage operator uses about 60 percent of UGS facilities to meet Ukraine's gas needs. The rest can be used for cooperation with foreign partners, Sergei Pereloma, Acting General Director of Ukrtransgaz, the operator of the Ukrainian underground gas storage system said.

Europe faced an energy crisis amid high gas prices this autumn. During the period of only two months, natural gas prices reached all-time high values. In early October, prices approached the level of $2,000 per thousand cubic meters, but then decreased.

The value of December gas futures according to Dutch TTF index, the most liquid European hub, fell during the trading session on Monday for the first time in 1.5 months to $750 per thousand cubic meters.