“The world gas markets are racing, and consumers will pay a high price”

Raw materials. Global gas markets are racing, and consumers will pay a heavy price for it. The regulated tariff, which still concerns a third of the 10.7 million gas subscribers, will increase by 9.96% at 1is July, announced Friday, June 25, the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE). This surge is largely due (7.8%) « to the rise in gas prices on the world market ”, she explains.

The government has its share of responsibility: by raising the obligations of gas suppliers in terms of energy sobriety for their customers, which increases the cost of energy saving certificates, it has contributed to this inflation. And it is not certain that subscribers console themselves by looking back, as the CRE invites them to do: since 1is January 2019, due to a drop in consumption, the increase was only 1.1%, well below inflation.

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You have to go back to 2008 to find such high prices on the European market. Several factors explain the phenomenon. First of all, the post-Covid-19 economic recovery, especially in China and on the Old Continent. It feeds a sustained demand from very energy-intensive industries (stationery, chemicals, automobile, aluminum, agrifood, steel industry, etc.), which absorbs three quarters of global methane production.

Cold and long winter

In addition, the cold and long winter forced energy producers to draw on stocks to supply boilers for individuals and turbines in power plants. Their replenishment in anticipation of winter drives demand and prices. Added to this were maintenance operations on deposits in the North Sea and the shutdown of the Snovhit liquefied natural gas (LNG) production site in northern Norway after a fire. And the postponement of the construction of many LNG terminals.

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Finally, Russia, which provides 40% of imports from the European Union, weighed. “The evolution of European supply and price trends will strongly depend on Gazprom’s commercial strategy”, analyzes the French Petroleum Institute. However, the group close to the Kremlin has reduced the flows passing through Ukraine to Europe and thus inflated its revenues, the contracts it signs with its clients being indexed both to oil prices and to prices at the same time. day by day (spot). It is now awaiting the commissioning of Nord Stream 2, its gas pipeline which will carry gas to Germany, passing under the Baltic, to which the United States is no longer opposed.