Costs of gas supply contracts are growing following the results of Crimea’s referendum on accession to Russia.

Chicago’s exchanges report that prices for gas supplies due in April from the Henry hub in Louisiana have reached $4.509 per a million British thermal units (BTU) against $4.425 a day earlier. This is about $168 per a thousand cubic metres. The prices of contracts for May supplies grew by 1.7% to $167 per a thousand cubic metres.

Investors fear price growth due to the geopolitical tension, which may emerge from possible sanctions against Russia from the EU and the United States.

“This is basically a hydrocarbon version of Mutually Assured Destruction,” Bloomberg quoted Seth Kleinman, Citigroup’s London-based head of energy research, as saying. “Europe needs Russian energy and Russia needs Europe’s money.”

The Henry Hub is a gas hub in the US state of Louisiana, which receives gas from eight pipelines from different fields. As it receives different kinds of natural gas, the exchange offers a common price. Gas prices at the platform are usually twice lower than gas prices at the European market.

Gazprom sells gas at the European market at an average of $380 per a thousand cubic metres.