image of gas processing and storage

Gas pricing hits all-time high for UK in July and is set to rise

image of gas processing and storage

Gas pricing hits all-time high for UK in July and is set to rise

August 2, 2021

As July closes, the UK has seen gas prices reach record-breaking levels. The gas market dynamics are constantly changing as different countries adapt their energy strategies to align with changes in demand and policy at national and international levels. The price of gas delivered in July was at a level never seen before and is reflective of the low storage levels of gas across Europe as we approach winter.

Previously the highest UK monthly outturn was in March 2013, where the month closed at 86.4 pence per therm (p/th), with the 2nd highest in December 2005 at 76.3p/th. July 2021 has closed at an unparalleled 90.6p/th, (as demonstrated in Graph 1 below), which will cause long term price increases at both business and domestic levels.

Gas pricing at National Balancing Point (NBP) since 2005
Graph 1: Gas pricing at National Balancing Point (NBP) since 2005. Data from National Grid and ICE.

Due to low storage levels, there is a risk that Europe won’t have enough gas to meet demand in a cold winter. Europe has lost a significant amount of domestic flexibility with less gas production coming from the North Sea and relies heavily on liquified natural gas (LNG) imports to boost available supply. With LNG demand high globally, Europe must compete with other markets for supply, supporting higher prices.

Graph 2: Year on year historic European Gas storage levels
Graph 2: Year on year historic European Gas storage levels. Data from GIE: Databases, Energy Operators, Commodity essentials.

In summer 2020, the market was well stocked with stored gas, as shown in Graph 2 above, so there were not the same shortages causing this year’s extreme pricing. However, this year, we have to compete with increasing Asian demand for LNG, causing gas to reach much higher price levels.

The shortage of gas was compounded by a late cold snap in April this year across Europe and a warm Asian summer. With unease around availability and apprehension of another cold winter, high prices indicate a fear there may not be enough gas to go around.

Will the price of gas continue to rise? Until there is a viable solution for the winter gas storage situation, prices are expected to remain high into the future, as demonstrated in Graph 3 below. The tightness could continue into next year if we finish the year with close to empty storage. With Nord Stream 2 nearing completion, there could be some easing of prices for European gas with more availability of gas flowing from Russia into Europe.

Historic UK power prices versus the market’s forward curve for 2021-22
Graph 3: Historic UK power prices versus the market’s forward curve for 2021-22 Data from ICE.

For Businesses, increasing energy costs are never easy to absorb. By looking at energy efficient strategies, optimising energy usage on-site and selecting a supply contract that can flex to the changing dynamics of the energy market, businesses can minimise some of this exposure. Customers’ bills are likely to rise upon their next renewal due to these market price rises.

written by
Clare Rowlands

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Kansai Electric Power Group and Hartree Partners sign first term contract in Japan coupling LNG supply with carbon investments. 

Japan, 14th December 2023: Japanese power company, Kansai Electric Power Group (Kansai Group), has signed…

Japan, 14th December 2023: Japanese power company, Kansai Electric Power Group (Kansai Group), has signed a binding term agreement with Hartree Partners for the supply of LNG alongside investment in a nature-based carbon project in Australia, the first deal of its kind in Japan. The deal represents Kansai Group’s long-term commitments to decarbonisation and the provision of low-carbon energy for its customers. 

This LNG supply agreement enables KE Fuel Trading Singapore Pte. Ltd (KEFTS) to grow its LNG portfolio which will support Kansai Group’s LNG supply-demand situation and customers around the globe.  

Also, through its expertise in global carbon markets and its project portfolio in Australia, specifically focused on nature restoration, Vertree Partners, Hartree’s global carbon market arm, will support The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (Kansai Electric) to access future supply of high-integrity carbon credits to support its Zero Carbon Vision.  

Both companies will explore potential opportunities to support Japan’s national net zero targets in areas such as LNG, renewable energy, environmental products and carbon capture and storage (CCS). 

Hartree Partners is a well-established global energy and commodities firm with decades of experience in the physical and financial energy and commodities market. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Vertree Partners, is focused on decarbonisation and environmental markets.  

“Carbon credits have an important role to play in realising a zero-carbon society,” said Hideaki Ikai, Executive Officer, Operation and Trading Division in Kansai Electric. “Kansai, as a leading company of zero-carbon energy, is proactively studying ways to create a carbon neutral society, and I believe that this collaboration with Hartree Partners will accelerate our activities to achieve the goal of carbon net zero by 2050.” 

Shinichi Kudo, Chief Executive Officer, KEFTS, added “The combination of LNG and carbon credits will give us a promising option to attain our mission to provide our customers with stable energy supply and decarbonization solutions.” 

Ahmed S Al-Awa, Managing Director of Hartree Partners Singapore Pte. Limited and a Partner of Hartree Partners, said “this forward-looking move by Kansai Electric Power Group sends an important signal that carbon markets are likely to become a key component of the natural gas/LNG value chain as the sector moves to decarbonise.” 

Ariel Perez, Managing Partner of Vertree Partners added “We are committed to supporting Kansai Electric Power Group to make credible investment in the carbon market. The market is evolving rapidly, and companies may be increasingly exposed. Investments such as these support future preparedness whilst also directing finance to nature-based solutions, without which we face continued environmental degradation and eco-system loss and increase the risk of missing our global climate goals.” 


About The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. 

Kansai Electric Power Group, as a Japan’s leading electric power company, is aiming for carbon neutrality throughout the entirety of its business activities by 2050 to limit global warming, while increasing energy independence to secure energy supply for its customers, Kansai Group can be found at 

About KE Fuel Trading Singapore Pte. Ltd 

KEFTS, a 100% subsidiary of Kansai Electric, was established as an LNG trading arm of Kansai Group in April 2017. KEFTS has been supporting Kasai Electric’s LNG supply-demand balance and providing LNG portfolio for customers around the globe, and now enhances its activity to support Kansai Group’s carbon neutrality at its base in Singapore.

About Hartree Partners  

Hartree Partners, LP is a leading global energy and commodities firm with an international reputation for integrity developed over decades. Our expertise enables us to capitalise on the transition from fossil fuels to a low carbon economy. Hartree’s global breadth and reach provide a competitive presence in a comprehensive range of commodity markets, enriched by the firm’s employees who add deep insight, expertise and innovative thinking. More information concerning Hartree can be found at 


About Vertree Partners 

Vertree Partners enables leading companies and institutions to invest in both nature and innovative climate technologies to assist them in reaching their decarbonisation goals. Founded in 2020, Vertree is focused on driving positive environmental and social impact, and providing its customers access to existing and future supply of high-integrity environmental commodities. It does this through directly financing quality emissions reductions and removals projects; partnering with renowned project developers; investing in innovative organisations and technology-based solutions; and providing its expertise in voluntary and compliance markets, trading, market analytics and risk management. Vertree is wholly owned by Hartree Partners. 


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AGP Sustainable Real Assets and Hartree Partners Announce US Expansion of Global Solar Partnership

AGP Sustainable Real Assets Pte Ltd (AGP) and Hartree Partners, LP (Hartree) today announce the…

AGP Sustainable Real Assets Pte Ltd (AGP) and Hartree Partners, LP (Hartree) today announce the launch of AMPYR Energy USA, the second joint venture between the two organizations in just over a year.

AMPYR Energy USA will be headquartered in New York and is targeting to build a 5GW utility-scale solar PV platform across multiple US markets. With experienced renewables development professionals on the ground, the newly-created company will continue to leverage AGP’s experience in developing large-scale renewable power projects globally, and Hartree’s cutting-edge power trading analytics and zero-carbon solutions.

“With the Federal and State goals for accelerating the energy transition, the US will be one of the fastest growing solar markets in the world and a core strategic priority in realizing AMPYR’s ambition of becoming one of the largest independent renewables developer and operator globally,” said Saurabh Beniwal, Partner at AGP and Board Chair for AMPYR USA.

Since its inception in February 2021, Hartree and AGP’s European solar venture, AMPYR Solar Europe (ASE), is making swift progress towards its goal of rolling out 5GW of large-scale solar projects to establish itself as one of the largest utility scale solar platforms in Europe. ASE also recently closed a €400 million facility to support this plan.

Following in the footsteps of ASE, expectations are equally high for AMPYR USA.

“We are excited to take another step forward with AGP into the US market,” said Stephen Semlitz, Managing Director of Hartree. “This new venture allows us to further demonstrate our decades of experience in finding investment solutions, consulting, and generating sustainable and commercially viable strategies for energy renewal and regeneration.”

To learn more about the new US venture visit:

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