The current cold spell sweeping Europe could see temperatures fall by as much as 12°C below seasonal norms and has already set gas demand soaring.
That’s according to a new report from analytics business S&P Global Platts, which suggests storage levels are becoming depleted across the continent.
It says wholesale gas prices, which are strongly linked to supply and demand, have increased by more than a fifth since the start of the month and by around 14% in the past week.
Demand for domestic energy used to heat homes is expected to further increase wholesale prices as temperatures are predicted to fall to -6°C in parts of the UK.
Wholesale gas cost 58p per therm last Friday, putting prices at a three-and-a-half year high.
The report suggests the European gas market is already quite tight for this time of year due to strong withdrawals as a result of below-average temperatures and several pipeline outages over the winter so far.
The study says the situation is likely to worsen because it could be too late for LNG cargoes to reach Europe in time to mitigate the additional demand.
The cold snap is set to peak on the 27th and 28th of February, though it is expected to continue into early March.