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European gas futures slip but traders remain wary of Russia’s intentions – News Opener

European natural-gas prices nudged lower on Monday, but traders remained wary that Russia planned to further restrict flows to a market already reeling from inadequate supply.

The August contract for ICE Dutch TTF gas futures fell 3.8% to 168.47 euros per megawatt-hour, helped lower by news that Canada would allow the export to Russia of a turbine needed for the maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

The conduit supplies Germany with most of its Russian gas and the maintenance shutdown is expected to last from July 11th to the 21st.

However, TTF futures remain more than triple the level at which they traded before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine toward the end of February, with traders concerned that there was no guarantee Moscow would resume full gas deliveries once the work on Nord Stream 1 ended.

“As expected Nord Stream 1 is at zero this morning,” Klaus Mueller, head of Germany’s energy regulator told Reuters, “What happens at the end of the maintenance, nobody is able to say at the moment.”

Italian oil-and-gas major Eni SpA
ENI,
+0.23%

also said on Monday that Gazprom, the Russian gas giant, will reduce its supply of gas to the company, adding to trader anxiety.

Russia has cut natural gas flows to Germany by 60% in recent weeks as Moscow retaliates to sanctions imposed by the west for president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Uniper
UN01,
-16.76%
,
the German utility, on Friday applied for a bailout from Berlin after it forecast that a scramble to secure more costly energy supplies would lead to a loss of 10 billion euros by the end of the year.

Uniper shares on Monday stumbled another 11.2% on apparent ructions between Germany and Fortum
FORTUM,
-4.92%
,
the Finnish group that is a majority shareholder in the struggling utility. Berlin said it expected Fortum to support Uniper, but Fortum argued that it had already pumped €8 billion ($8 billion) into its troubled utility group.

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