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High gas prices to complicate struggle against Nord Stream 2 in Europe, says expert

The growth of gas prices is due to objective factors, Simonas Vileikis believes

BRUSSELS, September 16. /TASS/. Gas deficit in Europe and a record growth of gas prices will strongly complicate any attempts to struggle against the commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a Brussels-based political analyst and expert on the issues of the EU energy market Simonas Vileikis told TASS on Thursday.

"Record high gas prices on Europe’s spot markets raise deep concern in Brussels and European capitals. The price growth to above $800 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas [the price neared $970 on Wednesday - TASS] is a situation that has never been even projected," he said.

The growth of gas prices is due to objective factors, the expert believes. "First, [the price growth is due to] the lack of possibilities to increase production in Europe, particularly in Norway, the Netherlands and Britain. Second, [due to] most supplies of liquified natural gas moving to Asia in 2021, where the economic recovery after the downturn in 2020 triggered an additional energy demand. Third, the deficit of gas on the EU market is so serious that even increased supplies via existing routes from Russia and Algeria cannot satisfy the demand and sufficiently fill Europe’s storage facilities," he explained.

"Speaking about the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the current price situation on the gas market will become an interesting background for the upcoming certification and commissioning of the gas pipeline. Any new route will be welcomed on the undersupplied market, particularly in such countries as Germany, and particularly in the winter after the election when consumers will experience the growth of electricity bills," Vileikis said.

The gas price in Europe stabilized at $880 per 1,000 cubic meters during September 15 trading after reaching almost $970 at the peak, according to data provided by the ICE exchange.