In this week's highlights, the Offshore Europe conference kicks off on Tuesday, record gas and power prices continue across Europe as the Nord Stream 2 saga drags on, while carbon prices have also reached fresh highs, and the London Metal Exchange reopens Ring trading following an 18-month suspension.
- North Sea suppliers take on climate challenge
- Nord Stream 2 season finale?
- Carbon prices at all-time highs
- LME reopens open outcry trading
- Merkel to open Munich Motor Show
In this week's highlights, record gas and power prices continue across Europe as the Nord Stream 2 saga drags on, while carbon prices have also reached fresh highs, and the London Metal Exchange reopens Ring trading following an 18-month suspension.
But first, the Offshore Europe conference kicks off on Tuesday and more than ever before a key focus this year will be the North Sea oil and gas sector's response to the growing momentum behind the energy transition.
The industry is keen to be a trailblazer in developing the blueprint for change to a lower carbon and ultimately net-zero future, but also to remain a reliable source of hydrocarbons for the time being.
Topics such as carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and electrification of offshore facilities feature high on the agenda at this online event and will be discussed by an array of speakers from major companies such as BP, Shell and TotalEnergies, smaller players in the vanguard of North Sea production, regulatory bodies and the UK's net-zero advisory body, the Climate Change Committee.
Meanwhile European gas prices remain at record highs, with the benchmark day-ahead contracts in Europe now trading above 50 euros per megawatt-hour.
This is keeping the saga of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline at the forefront of people's minds, with the availability, or non-availability, of gas via the controversial link from Russia potentially playing a major part through the upcoming winter.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said last week that gas could flow through Nord Stream 2 before the end of 2021, and the company disclosed last month that it could supply as much as 5.6 billion cubic meters via the pipeline this year.
However, under German and EU law, the operator must be certified as an independent transmission network operator, which could still take months to be finalized.
We haven't quite reached the season finale for this one yet, with potentially a few more twists and turns to come.
The exceptional strength in gas prices in Europe has pushed European forward power prices to record highs and also continues to drive carbon allowance prices on the EU Emissions Trading System ever higher.
They hit a new all-time high of 61.95 euros per metric ton of CO2 equivalent last week - well over double their average price in 2020, as you can see in the chart.
Market participants will be watching to see whether there are more gains to come, or whether prices ease back with the return of more normal auction levels this month.
And that takes us to our social media question for the week:
Do you think ETS prices have further to rise? Tweet us your thoughts with the hashtag PlattsMM.
The London Metal Exchange reopens Ring trading today, following an 18-month suspension of price-setting in the open-outcry marketplace due to COVID-19. Official lunchtime prices will now be set in the Ring, in traditional style, with afternoon closing prices set electronically via the LMEselect platform. Electronic trading, used to set LME metals prices during the period of the Ring's closure, is generally considered a more transparent way to set prices. However, the LME is bringing back Ring trading due to demand from the majority of its members and other stakeholders. The exchange has put into place strict anti-COVID measures for the resumption of trading in the Ring, which it admits is a "higher-risk environment".
Finally, on Wednesday Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to open Europe's biggest motor show for the last time. The IAA event in Munich, formerly the Frankfurt Motor Show, will undoubtedly highlight the transition of Germany's auto industry since the diesel scandal broke at the gathering six years ago.
According to Platts Analytics, over one million electric vehicles have been sold in Europe in the first seven months of this year, up fourfold in 2019.
Germany is now Europe's top EV market having reached the one million mark in July. Up to 14 million EVs are required to meet Germany's 2030 climate targets for the transport sector, with Tesla hoping to start its factory outside Berlin next month.
The Platts Atlas of Energy Transition is your map to the sustainable commodity markets of the future. You can explore the Atlas by visiting the address displayed on your screen.
Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead!