EU countries agree gas price cap after weeks of talks

A view of the gas compressor station in Gabinek near Wloclawek
The gas compressor station, a part of Polish section of the Yamal pipeline that links Russia with western Europe which is owned by a joint venture of Gazprom and PGNiG but it is operated by Poland's state-owned gas transmission company Gaz-System, is seen in Gabinek near Wloclawek, Poland May 23, 2022.REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

BRUSSELS, Dec 19 (Reuters) - European Union nations' energy ministers have agreed a gas price cap, a spokesperson for the Czech Republic said on Twitter on Monday.

The deal follows weeks of talks on the emergency measure that has split opinion across the bloc as it seeks to tame the energy crisis.

The Czech Republic holds the EU's rotating presidency and chaired the negotiations.

According to officials and a document seen by Reuters, European Union countries' energy ministers agreed that the cap on gas prices would be triggered when benchmark gas prices spike to 180 euros per megawatt hour.

The EU gas price cap would kick in if prices on the front-month Dutch Title Transfer Facility gas hub contract exceed 180 eur/MWh for three days, the document detailling EU ministers' agreement showed.

The cap can be triggered from Feb. 15 onwards, and will not apply to over the counter trades initially, the document said.

Three EU officials said that Germany - which had been sceptical about the price cap - had voted to support a European Union deal on a gas price cap on Monday, despite having raised concerns about the policy's impact on Europe's ability to attract gas supplies in price-competitive global markets.

Germany and other countries sceptical of the cap had sought more safeguards to ensure that it would be suspended if the policy has negative consequences.

Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by GV De Clercq

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