Cost of gas pushes energy prices in June up 57% year on year

Energy index highlights maintenance on pipeline connecting UK to Europe

Workers repair an oil well in Siberia. Photograph: Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

Workers repair an oil well in Siberia. Photograph: Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images


The cost of energy increased 57 per cent in June compared with the same month last year, driven primarily by soaring gas prices, according to the Bord Gáis Energy Index.

The index, which explores market developments and price movements in oil, gas, coal and electricity, was up 3 per cent compared with May, but its year-on-year increase of 57 per cent was the highest 12-month rise recorded since the index was developed.

Oil prices rose 2 per cent in euro terms compared with May, despite the agreement by Opec and Russia to increase oil production immediately. Coal prices continued to make fresh highs, with Asian demand supporting prices, and electricity prices were up 3 per cent.

Gas prices ended the month unchanged, but were 56 per cent higher year on year. The main factor driving prices during the month was the planned maintenance on the pipeline that connects the UK to Europe.

It typically exports gas to Europe in the summer, and the outage had the effect of dampening demand from the UK to Europe in June 13th-June 27th. Warm weather towards the second half of the month also had an impact.

Prices recovered towards the end of the month as the outage ended and demand increased once again. Another supporting factor for gas prices during June was gas storage. While European storage levels continued to increase, stocks remained well below average and 2017 levels.

Coal prices settled at $96 a tonne, rising 1 per cent in euro terms over the month and 19 per cent in the last year. Prices managed to make fresh 12-month highs for the second consecutive month, reaching $97 during the middle of the month.