Published: Wed, December 13, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Austria: At least 1 dead, 21 injured in gas hub blast

Austria: At least 1 dead, 21 injured in gas hub blast

British homes and businesses face a potential gas crisis this winter after a flawless storm of shock outages sent prices surging just as demand for heat reached highs not seen in nearly five years.

The emergency services said one person was killed and 21 injured, one seriously. However, "transit through Austria to the south and southeast regions is now negatively impacted", it added. "As a result of the event in Austria. we adjusted the transit regime in our network to fully secure its safety and suspended transit to Baumgarten", a spokesman for Slovakian gas operator Eustream said, as quoted by Reuters.

Gas Connect Austria run the hub which handles 40 billion cubic metres of gas per year which on top of supplying in its own country also feeds Germany, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary.

FT reports that "in Italy, day-ahead gas prices nearly doubled, while Dutch prices also rose sharply". The pipeline remains temporarily shut down having sustained "major" material damage, according to Gas Connect spokesman Armin Teichert.

Analysts believe, however, that there is enough storage to cope with supply for the time being.

The export arm of Russian energy giant Gazprom said it was working to redirect gas flows to southern Europe and to avoid any interruptions in the supply.

Baumgarten is an important hub for European gas transit.

In Britain, Europe's biggest gas market, the price of gas for immediate delivery reached its highest level since 2013.

"The gas supply to Italian consumers will in any case be ensured by an increased gas supply from national subterranean reserves", the government said.

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