Global coal prices have jumped to record highs on the news that Russia has cut off gas supplies to Europe indefinitely.

Russia’s state-owned energy giant, Gazprom, halted all exports via Nord Stream 1 from Aug. 31, citing maintenance work on its only remaining compressor.

Russia now claims however, that punitive economic sanctions imposed by the West are responsible for the indefinite halt to gas supplies via Europe’s main pipeline.

The halt to supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline prompted European gas prices to jump Monday.

Many are now fearful that parts of Europe could be forced to ration energy through the winter.

Energy analysts report that Russia’s latest move to suspend gas flows via Europe’s major supply route could exacerbate what was already likely to be an extremely challenging winter period.

In fact, Europe’s household electrical bills could surge by $2 trillion by next year amid a worsening energy crisis, Goldman Sachs warns.

In North America, consumers will not be spared pain according to an article by Forbes; natural gas prices are up 95% on US futures markets for the crucial November through March time period.

Natural gas prices and their winter home heating bills -  if futures markets are correct - will be almost double this year versus last year.

Those living in cold weather climes of the Northern Hemisphere could hit with a massive increase in wintertime household heating expenditures.