(Bloomberg) -- European natural gas prices edged lower before a statement from Germany that’s expected to trigger the second stage of the country’s gas-emergency plan amid a reduction in Russian supplies.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck will speak at 10 a.m. local time Thursday on “energy and supply security.” Enacting stage two -- the “alarm” phase -- could mean a change in the law to allow energy companies to pass on cost increases to homes and businesses. It may also involve firing up more coal-fired power plants to minimize gas consumption.

Russian natural gas shipments to Europe remain curtailed, with the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany operating at about 40% of capacity after flows were cut last week. The supply reduction, which Germany has called political, has cut flows to buyers across Europe and heightened the risk of energy shortages this winter.

Europe Industries Cut Gas Use as Continent Saves Fuel for Winter

Dutch front-month gas futures, the European benchmark, slipped 1.3% to 125.50 euros per megawatt-hour by 8:12 a.m. in Amsterdam. 


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