The sudden increase in demand joins the scarcity of raw material reserves, pushing energy prices up.
The continuous rise in the prices of energy raw materials increasingly shows a crisis that has now reached a global level, between a sudden increase in demand and the scarcity of supply .
The oil WTI now exceeds $ 75 per barrel, briefly touched levels in 2018, while natural gas continues running in the direction of share to $ 5.50.
The forecasts for the future of the prices of these two commodities symbolizing the energy crisis speak of a possible reach of 100 dollars a barrel for oil , while Goldman Sachs believes that a particularly cold winter could push gas to 10 dollars .
“ The average person once paid little attention to the market price of natural gas. It’s not like oil, where a sudden OPEC decision will almost immediately affect how much you pay at the pump. This winter, the world will likely learn how dependent the global economy is on natural gas, ”Lynn Doan and Anna Shiryaevskaya write in Bloomberg.
Oil, gas and the energy crisis in Europe
In the UK , gas is now among the most widely used types of energy to heat homes and power industries, with the government committed to abandoning coal and increasing the use of cleaner energy funds.
The quantities of gas storage, however, are not sufficient to deal with the current situation and European countries are requiring more and more energy to replenish supplies.
In the face of this, however, Russia , one of the main producers of gas produced in Europe, is trying to keep its stocks within its borders.
In European storage facilities, gas stock levels are historically low for this time of year due to low flows in Russian and Norwegian gas pipelines, coupled with reduced energy production from wind turbines due to a milder climate.
Governments are committed to reducing the production of electricity from nuclear power plants that are eliminated or subject to outages, making gas even more necessary and pushing its price up (+ 500% in the last year).
” In the case of a really cold winter, I fear that we will not have enough gas to use for heating in some parts of Europe, ” speculates Amos Hochstein, senior adviser to the US State Department for energy security.
For some countries “ it will not only be a recessive value, but it will affect the ability to actually supply gas for heating. It touches everyone’s life , ”Hochstein told Bloomberg TV on September 20.
The situation in Asia
The lack of energy in China could hit the Asian giant’s economy hard, adding to the Evergrande crisis .
According to Bloomberg reports, Chinese electricity-intensive factories are forced to close temporarily to meet output targets and to limit price increases.
Electricity shortages are driving companies to cut production, weakening China’s economic growth and affecting people in the workplace and where they live, ” adding the risk of social instability to potential disruptions in the global supply chain ,” add from Bloomberg.
The energy shortage may have prompted the government to ban cryptocurrencies , the production of which requires large amounts of electricity.
China, the largest natural gas buyer in the world, hasn’t replenished its energy stocks fast enough, even though imports are nearly double from last year, according to official customs data.
Several Chinese provinces are already rationing the electricity needed by industries to meet President Xi Jinping’s goals for energy efficiency and pollution reduction. An energy crisis could increase closures if authorities divert gas to light and heat families.
More Utilities in Japan and South Korea are largely protected by long-term contracts but Korea Electric Power Co. announced on September 23 that it will raise electricity prices for the first time in nearly eight years. A sudden cold spell could force more power companies to plunge into the spot market to buy emergency gas supplies at record prices. That’s what happened last winter.
The cost of liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies has sparked political controversy in Pakistan , with opposition politicians calling for an investigation into the state importer’s purchases.
The crisis on the American continent
The American exporters are ready to ship more gas than ever with the entry into service of new projects towards the end of the year. But as the more gas goes abroad, the less it will be available at home.
While gas prices have been significantly lower in the United States than in Europe and Asia, their prices remain close to their highest level since 2014 .
Gas inventories are below their five-year seasonal average , but US shale producers are reluctant to increase production for fear that this will reduce their profitability and alienate investors.
The Industrial Energy Consumers of America has asked the Department of Energy to reduce U.S. exports until storage levels return to normal, a move that could increase overseas shortages and still affect commodity prices as well. .