Brussels is weighing whether to prolong an emergency gas price cap introduced in February amid fears that the conflict in the Middle East and sabotage of a Baltic pipeline could push up prices again this winter, Report informs via the Financial Times.
The European Commission said there was “no indication of negative effects” since the measure had entered into force and that gas prices were now almost 90 per cent lower than last year, according to a presentation given to diplomats from the EU’s 27 member states and seen by the Financial Times.
The cap was introduced after many weeks of tense discussions among member states, with Germany and Austria having initially opposed its introduction arguing that it would distort markets and aggravate a supply crunch. But the cap did not impact gas imports to the EU, the commission’s presentation noted.
Senior EU diplomats and officials told the FT that despite the fall in energy prices and EU gas storage being at record highs, supplies this winter could be affected by the Israel-Hamas war and potential acts of sabotage to gas infrastructure.
“We don’t know what will happen this year. We have the situation in Israel and we don’t know how that will affect imports from the Middle East,” one EU diplomat said.
Member states ultimately agreed that the ceiling would come into force if prices hit €180 per megawatt hour for three consecutive days.
The commission is due to present a proposal in November confirming which of the emergency energy measures, which include the gas price cap, permitting measures and regulations to ensure that gas supplies are shared among member states, should be prolonged.
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