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The Big Take

Natural Gas Soars 700%, Becoming Driving Force in the New Cold War

Shortages of the fuel are rippling throughout the global economy, threatening recessions and a further wave of inflation. 

The war in Ukraine catalyzed the gas crisis by taking out a crucial chunk of supply. Now the scramble to fill that gap is turning into a worldwide stampede, as countries race to secure scarce cargoes of liquefied natural gas.

The war in Ukraine catalyzed the gas crisis by taking out a crucial chunk of supply. Now the scramble to fill that gap is turning into a worldwide stampede, as countries race to secure scarce cargoes of liquefied natural gas.

Photographer: Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg

One morning in early June, a fire broke out at an obscure facility in Texas that takes natural gas from US shale basins, chills it into a liquid and ships it overseas. It was extinguished in 40 minutes or so. No one was injured.

It sounds like a story for the local press, at most — except that more than three weeks later, financial and political shockwaves are still reverberating across Europe, Asia and beyond.