Five European countries call for probe into soaring gas prices as they continue to smash historic highs

France, Spain, Czechia, Romania and Greece are calling for an investigation into the causes of the record-high growth of gas prices on the continent, according to a joint statement published by Bloomberg’s Javier Blas on Twitter.

Regarding gas, the functioning of the European gas market should be investigated to understand why current gas contracts have been insufficient,” says the statement, a copy of which has been tweeted by Blas, Bloomberg’s chief energy correspondent.

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The price of gas in Europe broke new record highs on Wednesday, rising sharply to above $1,600 per 1,000 cubic meters at the opening of trading. According to data from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the price of November futures on the TTF hub in the Netherlands at 6am GMT jumped to $1,559 per 1,000 cubic meters, or $150 per megawatt-hour. At its maximum this morning, the price reached $1,606 per thousand cubic meters.

The five states urge the EU to set up common rules on gas reserves to control prices, proposing to boost coordination in gas purchases.

We should also build common guidelines on gas storage to mitigate and smooth price increases [and] better coordinate our gas purchases to increase our bargaining power,” the statement continues.

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The group also calls for reform in Europe’s electricity market to improve the connection between the cost of electricity generation and its price for households, noting that this is “especially important as decarbonisation will increase the use of electricity in our economy.”

The states reportedly say that, in the long term, Europe should focus on reducing its dependence on gas-exporting countries “by investing in the diversification of our energy supply,” suggesting low-carbon energies like biomass, wind and solar energy as an alternative to gas and coal.

The document indicates that the statement is a joint product of the ministers of economy and finance of the five listed countries. However, the published copy is not dated.

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