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Market Extra: U.K. natural gas surges nearly 40%, Dutch gas up almost 20%, as Russia invades Ukraine

As Russia launches the largest military operation in Europe since World War II, natural-gas futures were surging, and investors remained worried about the impact of the conflict in Ukraine and sanctions on supplies.

On Thursday, Dutch TTF gas futures, the benchmark in northwest Europe, jumped 19%, and the U.K. natgas contract jumped 12%. The Dutch contract traded at €106.10 per megawatt. The contract is up 51% in the year to date.

U.K. natural gas
GWM00,
+46.21%

was up by about 37% and is up over 70% so far in 2022.

Energy is one of Russia’s biggest exports to Europe, supplying between 30% to 40% in natural gas. On Tuesday, Germany froze the Russian-German Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on Tuesday, after Putin recognized the independence of breakaway regions Donetsk and Luhansk, and sent troops there as precursor to the military attack that took shape in the past 24 hours.

Beyond sanctions, investors also are fretful that Putin will shut off existing natural gas pipelines into Europe.

Germany has the biggest exposures to disruptions in natural gas supplies because it doubled down on its dependence on Russian energy, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Still, Berlin on Tuesday said it wouldn’t certify Nord Stream 2, and the U.S. also said it would attempt to block the pipeline’s launch, as a part of its sanctions.

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