Rising Russia-Ukraine tensions push Europe energy crisis to brink 

Power and gas prices surge as the prospect of military action in Ukraine increases
Rising Russia-Ukraine tensions push Europe energy crisis to brink 

Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Europe’s energy crisis intensified as the risk of war pushed up gas prices, power-plant halts were extended and the French government asked its biggest utility to take an $8.8bn (€7.6bn) hit to protect consumers.

Power and gas prices surged, with the prospect of military action in Ukraine increasing as geopolitical tensions escalated. 

Meanwhile, nuclear giant EDF sank the most on record after the French government said it must sell power at a steep discount, and several reactors faced long outages.

“The risk of a potential new war in Ukraine and the effects this could have on the gas market continue to cause a lot of uncertainty,” analysts at Energi Danmark said.

German electricity for the third quarter soared as much as 23%, while benchmark European gas prices added as much as 13%.

Europe’s energy prices are extremely volatile. The region’s gas storage is draining faster than expected, increasing the focus on imports from Russia and raising concern that supplies will fall short in the event of a severe cold snap.

The impact on household energy bills across the continent has left governments scrambling to find ways to help shield consumers from higher costs.

All eyes are on Russian flows, with fears mounting over possible conflict in Ukraine — a key transit country. 

The US is putting pressure on European allies to agree on potential sanctions against Russia, worried that the country might soon invade its neighbour. 

Russia has repeatedly said that is not its plan. Talks between the US and Moscow this week failed to ease tensions.

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