An outage affecting Norway’s gas exports to Britain that sent prices soaring on Monday will likely be repaired by Friday, easing supply crunch concerns but still serving as a fresh reminder of Europe’s dependence on Norwegian gas.

Europe’s benchmark gas price, the Dutch front-month contract , eased on the news that the repair would be limited in time, shedding 4 per cent to 34.93 euros/MWh by 0925 GMT.

Monday’s outage had driven up European gas prices on Monday to a peak of 38.56 euros – their highest level since December. Gassco attributed it to a crack in a two-inch pipeline onboard Equinor’s (EQNR.OL) offshore Sleipner Riser platform.

The outage drove up prices in the United States and Asia too, on concerns it could tighten supply at a time of worries over remaining Russian volumes and an Asian heatwave increasing competition for liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The United States is a main exporter of LNG and supply outages elsewhere increases demand for US exports and in turn lifts domestic gas prices.

Norway in 2022 overtook Russia as Europe’s biggest gas supplier after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, making any outages at Norwegian fields a possible trigger for higher prices.

Norway in 2022 provided 26 per cent of all natural gas consumed in Britain and the European Union, making it the continent’s largest supplier, according to the Norwegian Offshore Directorate, an industry regulator.

“The outages once again highlight the risks on the European gas market, which is still highly dependent on individual producer countries,” Commerzbank’s head of commodity research Thu Lan Nguyen said in a note on Tuesday.


“Based on what we have heard from the field operator, this is the repair time we think it will take to fix the problem,” Alfred Hansen, head of system operations at Gassco, told Reuters on Tuesday, following a meeting with Equinor.

Repairs could take longer or also less time, but were not expected to take weeks, he added.

Gassco will stay in frequent contact with Equinor throughout the repair period and update outage timings on its transparency website to reflect the latest estimates, Hansen said.

Equinor did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has previously referred questions on the outage to Gassco.

Sleipner Riser is a connection point in the North Sea for the Langeled North and Langeled South pipelines connecting the Nyhamna plant on Norway’s west coast to the Easington terminal in northeast England.

Norwegian gas supply nominations rose marginally to 264 million cubic metres (mcm) per day on Tuesday, from 256 mcm/day nominated on Monday, according to Gassco data but were still well below the 300 mcm or more per day normally scheduled.

Nyhamna is able to process up to 79.8 mcm per day, while Britain’s Easington terminal has a capacity of 72.50 mcm/day.