The current position: Home > LATEST NEWS > It's a little cold this winter. The "sky high" natural gas in the United States has hurt Europe >
As winter approaches, European countries are worried about energy shortage. France launched a national energy conservation plan, calling on people to reduce hot water shower time and completely shut down electronic equipment in standby state at night; Many places in Britain plan to open public places such as libraries with heating equipment free of charge for people to escape the cold; In Italy, many families even "passed through" the era of wood burning for heating and stored firewood in advance for the winter.
Since the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine, the European Union has followed the United States in imposing multiple rounds of sanctions on Russia, but the backbiting effect caused by the sanctions has strained the energy supply in Europe, and the prices of natural gas and electricity have soared. The International Energy Agency warned that Europe would face an "unprecedented" risk of natural gas shortage this winter. At the same time, the United States sold gas to Europe at a high price. According to many European media reports, each LNG carrier of American companies sailing to Europe can earn more than 100 million dollars in profits, which makes the insiders shout "crazy".
On the one hand, the United States made a fortune and on the other, Europe complained incessantly. As the cold winter approaches and the temperature drops, it seems that the US Europe relations are also experiencing a chill. French President Jacques Makron couldn't help complaining about the high cost of natural gas in the United States at a meeting of entrepreneurs in Paris a few days ago. "We want to tell our American friends that you have provided energy (to us), but we have to pay four times the price. For the sake of friendship, this cannot continue." Ma Kelong said that this issue should be discussed at the G7 meeting.
In addition to France, Germany is also complaining about "sky high" bills. A few days ago, German Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Climate Protection Robert Habak also implied in an exclusive interview that the United States and other "friendly" countries supply Germany with natural gas at an exorbitant price, and use Russia and Ukraine to flush the sudden war wealth. He also called on EU countries to become more united and conduct dialogue with "friendly" countries. Habak previously said that because of the purchase of natural gas from channels other than Russia, the energy cost is higher than before. Germany's economic loss this year will be close to 60 billion euros, and the loss next year may be close to 100 billion euros.
Since the end of February this year, the energy crisis has led to a surge in European energy prices. In local currency terms, the price of natural gas in Europe has risen by more than 100%. For Europe, which is struggling for energy supply, the natural gas export of the United States has become more important. According to data from Luft, a financial information service provider, in September, 6.3 million tons of liquefied natural gas were loaded on American outbound cargo ships, of which nearly 70% were shipped to Europe.
Europe is deeply worried about energy, but American suppliers are making a lot of money. For example, ExxonMobil, an American energy giant, said that its net income in the second quarter of this year was $17.9 billion, the highest quarterly profit in the company's history, much higher than the $4.69 billion in the same period last year. However, with the increasing western energy sanctions against Russia and the recent "Beixi" natural gas pipeline leakage accident, European countries have to increase the import volume of high priced energy from the United States. In the future, the speed of American energy suppliers to seize huge profits may be further accelerated.
Russian President's press secretary Peskov said that the American people made windfall profits, while Europeans paid them, they also made their country's economy lose competitiveness.
The soaring energy prices have formed a dangerous transmission chain, which not only "fuels" inflation, but also seriously hampers the economic prospects. According to the Eurostat data, the inflation rate in the euro area reached 10% at an annual rate in September, a record high. Germany, the "locomotive" of European economy, also began to show economic warning signals. The Bundesbank recently released a forecast that the German economy may shrink in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of next year, mainly due to the impact of the energy crisis.
Moreover, high energy costs are forcing energy intensive enterprises in many European countries to reduce or stop production, making Europe face the challenge of "deindustrialization". Affected by the soaring energy prices, some European manufacturing enterprises have recently been forced to stop production or decided to relocate their production lines. The largest aluminum manufacturer in the Netherlands, Delfzeldamco Aluminum, recently announced that it would stop production. The largest fertilizer producer in Europe, Norway Yala International, has closed a large fertilizer plant. The European Nonferrous Metals Association said that half of Europe's zinc and aluminum production has been at a standstill, and European metal smelters are facing a threat to their survival. Oliver Falk, head of the Industrial Economy Center of the German Ive Economic Research Institute, said: "If energy prices remain high for a long time, some industries will leave Germany."
What makes Europeans more helpless is that, because the energy price in the United States is far lower than that in Europe, the United States has become one of the important destinations for European enterprises to relocate their production lines. According to a recent report by the German Business Daily, Oklahoma alone has attracted more than 60 German enterprises to invest and expand their business, including Lufthansa, Siemens, Aldi and Fresenius, which have recently accumulated nearly 300 million dollars in investment.
Due to the different energy demands, dependence on suppliers and energy structures of EU member states, there are always differences that are difficult to bridge in the coordination of overall energy policies within the EU. The informal meeting of EU leaders held on 7 this month started consultations on energy issues, but no specific results were reached. European Commission President Von Delain said that in order to cope with the current rising natural gas prices and electricity prices, the European Commission will come up with detailed proposals in the next few weeks. She also said that it can be clear that it is crucial for the EU to promote joint gas purchase when natural gas stocks run out next spring.