Tuesday, 26 September, 2023

Gas prices fall as Australian strike fears recede

Wholesale gas prices in Europe have fallen after a planned strike at Australia's largest liquefied natural gas plant looked to have been averted.

The walkout at Woodside Energy's North West Shelf plant had threatened to disrupt global LNG supplies, driving up gas prices sharply.

But on Thursday the firm reached an agreement in principle with unions, which it is hoped will halt the strike.

Benchmark EU and UK gas prices are down almost 33% since their peak on Tuesday.

Following the start of the war in Ukraine, Russia slashed supplies of natural gas to Europe, which led countries to seek out alternative sources of energy.

Many countries are relying on LNG to fill the gap, with Australia being one of world's largest exporters.

It has led to a gradual fall in global gas prices and energy bills, which soared in 2022.

However, the prospect that workers at the North West Shelf plant might walk out on 2 September sparked fears that prices would start to rise again.