Former German Chancellor Talks Rise in LNG Prices

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Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder described Russia as a trustworthy gas supplier to Europe, explaining the historical rise in natural gas prices as a result of the world market environment, and pointing out contrasts in U.S. rhetoric and actions on trade with China, RIA reports.

Schroeder observed in a Handelsblatt piece that, while gas costs for end-consumers climbed less than those for other fossil energy sources, it was the spike in gas prices that sparked the greatest debate, with some media blaming Russia as a key supplier.

“The person who will undertake a serious research argues that the causes for the price increase must be explored in the worldwide gas market – increasing demand, global market tendencies, and weather conditions,” Schroeder writes.

As a result, demand for gas grew by 12% in the first half of this year in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, Europe’s major economies, he added. The former chancellor remembered that European economies started to improve after the crisis in 2020 as a result of lockdowns and that the protracted and cold previous winter prompted the filling of gas storage facilities to begin a month later in 2021.

Additional supplies might come from Norway and Russia, according to Schroeder, but don’t depend on liquefied gas from the U.S. – it’s destined for Asia. According to figures cited by the ex-chancellor, China purchased 22% more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from January to August than a year before, whereas Europe purchased 17% less LNG.