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European Gas Surges as Heat and Drying Rivers Drive Demand

  • Rhine River at key Germany waypoint fell to new low on Monday
  • Any spike in gas consumption could further tighten the market
A barge passes an exposed riverbed on the River Rhine near Loreley, Germany, on Aug. 12.

A barge passes an exposed riverbed on the River Rhine near Loreley, Germany, on Aug. 12.

Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg
Updated on

Natural gas prices in Europe soared as a scorching summer dries up rivers in the region, boosting energy demand in a market that is already reeling from a supply crunch.   

Benchmark futures settled 6.8% higher at the highest level since early March, when prices had surged to records following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The energy crisis is being exacerbated by very low water levels at key waypoints on Europe’s rivers that are making it difficult for diesel, coal and other commodities to be transported through the continent. Utilities could end up using more gas as an alternative.