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Opinion
Javier Blas

Europe's Natural-Gas Crisis Is Worse Than It Looks

Markets now see shortages and sky-high prices lasting until 2024.

In 2011, Vladimir Putin and former German chancellor Gerhard Shroeder, left, attended the opening of the Nord Stream pipeline

In 2011, Vladimir Putin and former German chancellor Gerhard Shroeder, left, attended the opening of the Nord Stream pipeline

Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

European natural gas prices are still well below the all-time high set in March. Dig a bit deeper, however, and they are signaling a more protracted disruption than markets anticipated in the immediate aftermath of  Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

While the gas market then priced in a short-lived crisis, lasting perhaps a couple of months, it’s now flashing extreme danger for next winter, through 2023 and, increasingly, into 2024. Over the last few days, the whole European gas price curve has repriced at a much higher level.