The recent dispute over natural gas between Russia and Ukraine has many considering whether the role of natural gas and related exchange traded funds (ETFs) needs to be revised. Some view the trouble as a wake-up call for the European Union to boost energy efficiency.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) thinks that a fuel that is used as a weapon by some countries can no longer be promoted, reports China View.

As of Tuesday, there are a few European countries that do not have a supply of natural gas, as their allowance had been cut or reduced over disagreements between Russia and Ukraine. CNN/Europe reports that Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, had shut three of four export pipelines that take natural gas through Ukraine to the rest of Europe, significantly reducing supply.

Gazprom denies this and claims that the Ukraine is at fault for the shut down. Likewise, Russian natural gas flow to Austria has dropped by 90% amid the disputes between Moscow and Ukraine. Oil and gas recerve shave been utilized to make up for the shortcoming.

Today, Russia and Ukraine are still in talks, report Maria Ermakova and Daryna Krasnolutska for Bloomberg.

Russia cut off supplies to Ukraine on Jan. 1 over debts, pledging supplies to western Europe would be safeguarded, but some southern and eastern European countries have seen flows fall or stop, reports Michael Shields for Reuters.

The dispute seems to have had a positive effect so far on the natural gas funds, as it has intensified demand – both are up slightly since the shut-off took place.

  • United States Natural Gas (UNG): up 5% since dispute began

Natural Gas ETF

  • First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas (FCG): up 11.1% since dispute began

Natural Gas ETF

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.