Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), told consumers it had no power to lower energy prices, while steelmakers in the United Kingdom warned that rising costs could compel them to suspend production.
The global economic recovery following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions has revealed a shortfall of natural gas and other fuel sources, putting a strain on consumer finances and creating blackouts in certain nations.
Industry leaders and governments are being forced to pay considerably higher energy prices and revert to the most polluting fossil fuels, coal and oil, in order to keep factories operating and families warm.
Crude futures rose to multi-year highs on Monday as some generators switched to burning oil, with analysts forecasting that prices will remain strong.
LNG prices, which fell to historic lows during pandemic lockdowns, have risen to new highs this year, although Qatar has indicated it has no supply available to help calm the market.
“We are maxed out, as far as we have given all our customers their due quantities,” said Qatar Minister of Energy Saad al-Kaabi. “I am unhappy about gas prices being high.”
The high prices are putting pressure on governments and businesses around the world, with warnings of job losses and expenses being passed on to customers and consumers.