OREANDA-NEWS. The jump in gas prices in Europe is not due to a shortage of supply, but to a low level of storage capacity. This opinion was expressed in an interview with Business FM during the Russian Energy Week by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

"Today the European market is entirely achieved with gas, because the supply of imports in general and our own production, fully ensure the internal consumption of the European market. Besides, gas partially is pumped into underground gas storage facilities, so there is no gas shortage," he said.

Nevertheless, according to the Deputy Prime Minister, there is a problem related to the fact that over the past five years, the occupancy of storage facilities has remained at a minimum level - about 74 percent, while it is usually higher - 85-90 percent.

"This, of course, encourages concerns among market participants, there are some risks, and as a result, the market reacts in a usual way - prices rise," Novak said.

He stressed that Gazprom will increase production capacity if European partners increase the volume of long-term contracts.

The European gas market has been experiencing a severe crisis in recent months. If at the beginning of August futures were trading at around $ 515 per thousand cubic meters, then by the end of September their values ​​more than doubled, and on October 6 they reached a historical maximum of $ 1937. This was followed by a slight lull, but gas prices in Europe still remain high. Experts explain this situation by several factors: low UGS occupancy, limited supply from major suppliers and high demand for LNG in the Asian region.

Russian Energy Week takes place in Moscow from 13 to 15 October.