A six-year-high for British natural gas export to Europe

The six-year-old high in British natural gas exports to Europe is a result of Brussels’ efforts to reduce its dependence on Russian energy sources.

According to Elexon data, which manages the electricity trades that keep Britain lit, flows of natural gas through the UK’s interconnector pipeline to Belgium reached their highest level since at least 2016.

British gas exports from the Continent to December are rare, as domestic heating demand is so high. This means that supplies are usually kept in the UK.

It comes as the European Union tries to wean itself from Russian oil and gas after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. However, Britain’s North Sea output is a key replacement.

The UK’s gas prices are also lower than Europe over the past months, encouraging traders to continue exporting to Europe.

This comes as natural gasoline prices in Europe rose after a cold snap increased demand, eroded reserve and raised concerns about supply risk.

Separately, data from the Independent Commodity Intelligence Service ICIS showed that Europe could reduce its gas demand by 25% due to unseasonably warm October and November.

Nevertheless, demand is increasing again due to a cold snap hitting the Continent that sends temperatures plummeting.

Oil prices rose on Monday as China made more progress towards opening its economy. Opec maintained steady output and sanctions against Russian crude were imposed.

Brent crude oil, an international benchmark, was up 2pc at $87.14 a barrel, while US-produced West Texas Intermediate was up $81.48 a bar.

China’s major urban centers, including Shanghai, announced further relaxation of Covid restrictions this weekend. Meanwhile, the Opec cartel oil-producing countries committed to maintaining current production levels.

Monday’s G7 price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil was also in effect. The West wants to limit Moscow’s financial ability to fund its war in Ukraine. However, Russia has stated that it will not adhere to the measure, even if it means reducing production.

The G7 countries, Australia and the European Union will enforce the price cap. This is in addition to the EU’s embargo against Russian crude oil imports by sea, and similar promises by the UK, USA, Canada, and Japan.

Russian oil can be transported to third-party countries using G7 or EU tankers, insurance companies, and credit institutions. However, the cargo must be purchased at or below the price limit.


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