Moscow’s decision to drastically cut natural gas exports has propelled Europe’s energy crisis into a dangerous new phase, intensifying a battle over fuel that threatens to drain vital supplies and bring the continent’s economy to its knees.

State-owned gas giant Gazprom PJSC has cut deliveries to some of the region’s biggest energy companies, including Germany’s Uniper SE, Italy’s Eni SpA and Austria’s OMV AG in recent days. Uniper and Eni said on Wednesday that the state-owned company had reduced daily gas flows by 25% and 15% respectively.

Cez Group, a utility in the Czech Republic, said on Thursday that Gazprom had cut its exports by about the same amount. Data from Nord Stream, Russia’s main gas flow route to Europe, showed gas was flowing at around half its rate since the start of the week.

With four and a half months to go before the deadline set by the European Union to fill the stages with gas to 80% capacity, traders fear the continent will be left with insufficient supplies as cool temperatures boost demand . Gas prices in the region jumped 18% on Thursday to trade at 141.98 euros, or $147.59, a megawatt hour

Prices have jumped 67% over the past week and are more than five times higher than a year ago. The market began to surge last autumn, a rally that prompted parts of European industry to shut down and led governments to spend billions of dollars to help households struggling to pay their energy bills .