Spain's energy minister says Europe nearing gas benchmark consensus

Spain's energy minister said European leaders meeting in Prague on Friday were nearing consensus on a EU gas pricing system that would create an alternative to the current benchmark and effectively cap prices. Heads of state from across Europe met in Prague to discuss how to combat soaring energy prices caused by the Ukraine war.


Reuters | Madrid | Updated: 07-10-2022 20:41 IST | Created: 07-10-2022 20:30 IST
Spain's energy minister says Europe nearing gas benchmark consensus
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Spain's energy minister said European leaders meeting in Prague on Friday were nearing consensus on a EU gas pricing system that would create an alternative to the current benchmark and effectively cap prices.

Heads of state from across Europe met in Prague to discuss how to combat soaring energy prices caused by the Ukraine war. The European Union hopes to reach an agreement on electricity market reform within two weeks to ease the impact of gas prices in power generation systems. The proposals include a cap on gas prices, backed by the majority of EU states but opposed by Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands that worry it would make it difficult to buy the gas their economies need and curb any incentive to reduce consumption.

Spain's Energy Minister Teresa Ribera told Reuters in an interview that the opponents of a gas cap needed to accept that Europe faces "a disaster". She also said the leaders were moving towards a consensus on an alternative benchmark price to the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) gas price that could effectively smooth over differences.

The new benchmark will be "a basket of indicators that allows us (EU) to have something that adapts in a flexible way. It is not an absolute fixed price," said Ribera, adding the system would subsitute the cap proposal. "It actually acts as a cap," she said.

Historically, the TTF has been used as a benchmark for the delivery of pipeline and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) into Europe, but the shifting supply landscape since the Ukraine conflict has distorted it. "We still don't have black on white on paper what is going to happen," Ribera said. "But this is a possibility on which we detect that there is greater consensus and greater openness on the part of all."

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, in a letter to EU leaders on Wednesday suggested they consider a temporary price cap while the Commission works on an alternative benchmark.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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