Gas supply from Austrian gas hub back to normal after deadly blast

Gas supply from Austrian gas hub back to normal after deadly blast

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VIENNA – The operator of Austria’s main pipeline hub focussed on Wednesday on finding the cause for a deadly blast after successfully bringing gas supplies to neighbouring countries back to normal.
Gas prices across Europe fell. They had soared on Tuesday as the explosion at the Baumgarten site triggered supply worries.
The hub in eastern Austria is a major regional transfer node, taking gas from as far away as Russia and pumping it towards neighbours including Italy – its biggest recipient – as well as Germany, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.
Russia pointed to Tuesday’s accident as underlining the need for its own Gazprom (GAZP.MM) gas projects to proceed.
Currently one third of Russian natural gas is transported via the Baumgarten hub, according to operating company Gas Connect Austria.
The amount of damage was not clear, a spokesman for Gas Austria Connect said, adding he did not know what claims if any, would be made against his company.
“We are back in normal operation,” the spokesman said. “Now we are turning our attention to finding the cause of the incident and assessing what has to be done next (to repair the site).”
Technicians, insurance specialists, criminal investigators and other experts were on site to assess the situation.
Flows from Russia to Italy resumed on Tuesday night after the explosion, in which one person was killed and 21 were injured, led Italy to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the Italian wholesale day-ahead price was, with bids at 23.60 and asks at 28.50, valued at around 26 euros/megawatt hour according to a Thomson Reuters composite of prices, a 65 percent drop on the previous day’s settlement price.
The price soared 215 percent to 75 euros/MWh following the blast.
Italy’s January gas contract TRITPSVMc1 traded 3.5 percent lower at 23.15 euros/ megawatt hour at 1430 GMT.
The British wholesale gas price for day-ahead delivery TRGBNBPWKD was down 9.6 percent at 66 pence per therm.

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