Natural gas prices dropped yesterday, seemingly unaffected by a pricing dispute between Russia's state-run gas monopoly and Ukraine. The price of natural gas dropped 46.5 cents to $10.76 per thousand cu. ft. on the New York Mercantile Exchange in Asian electronic trading, early afternoon in Singapore. Speaking to the Associated Press, an analyst said Russian state-controlled OAO Gazprom's efforts to restore gas flow after the dispute had helped ease upward pressure on prices.
The dispute occurred when Ukraine failed to meet Gazprom's demand for a four-fold price increase, and resulted in Gazprom's temporary disruption of the flow of natural gas to Ukraine. About one-quarter of Europe's gas comes from Russia through Ukraine, and the standoff raised fears of gas shortages.