Jun 20, 2022
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Canada seeks to bring Germany to its knees because of Gazprom

Pictured: a worker at the Bierwang gas storage facility in Mühldorf an der Inn, Germany

Pictured: a worker at the Bierwang gas storage facility in Mühldorf am Inn, Germany (Photo: picture alliance/SVEN SIMON/TASS)

European states have already begun to actively use gas from their reserves after cutting supplies from Gazprom to some continental consumers, Bloomberg reports.

According to the agency, after the decision of the Russian company to stop the operation of some Siemens gas turbines due to technical difficulties, gas flows to Austria, Germany, Italy and France through the Nord Stream gas pipeline decreased.

For example, on June 15, it became known that Gazprom stopped the operation of the Siemens gas turbine at the Portovaya CS, as it was announced, “due to the end of the time between overhauls before overhaul.” The gas company reports that since June 16, the daily capacity is 67 million cubic meters of gas per day.

Gazprom explained the current situation by a delay in receiving gas pumping units from Siemens from repair, which led to a limitation in the volume of fuel pumped into the gas pipeline. However, Berlin called the company’s actions “politically motivated” and accused it of intending to “destabilize the markets.”

The reduction of blue fuel in underground gas storages (UGS) occurred for the first time since mid-April – their occupancy was, according to June 14, 52%. Thus, the decrease in reserves amounted to one percentage point, although it is in the summer season that UGS facilities are filled in anticipation of the upcoming winter season.

According to the head of product strategy ING Groep NV Warren Pattersonthe depletion of reserves caused concern in the market, which may soon react with another jump in gas prices. Along with the difficulties in supplying fuel from Russia, Europe is now receiving much less American LNG after the shutdown of one of the largest US gas enterprises.

Experts from the Wood Mackenzie research group suggest that in a pessimistic scenario, Europe may not have sufficient gas reserves by the beginning of the heating season, and the reserves may be depleted by January next year.

Rustam Tankaev, General Director of CJSC InfoTEK-Terminal, leading expert of the Union of Oil and Gas Producers of Russia considers the current situation in the European gas market very strange.

– It’s obvious that the gas flow through Ukraine (which Western countries are actively supplying with weapons) will be reduced in the conditions of hostilities. And there will be various difficulties with pumping through its territory. Gazprom had scheduled maintenance work at Nord Stream, when some of the compressors were being repaired in Canada. However, this country, as you know, imposed sanctions against us and, as a result, the compressors were locked up on its territory. This led to the fact that the balance of gas supplies began to inevitably shrink.

“SP”: – Are they trying to find a way out in this situation in Europe?

– To be honest, I sometimes get the impression that the leading politicians of the EU simply do not have information about the situation on the gas market, which has already been formed, structured and there are not so many opportunities to change the directions and volumes of supplies. For some reason, they hope for gas supplies from the US and Qatar.

“SP”: – Judging by their assurances, they are able to replace Russian gas.

— Judge for yourself, Europe needs 350 billion cubic meters of fuel to stabilize the market. The United States, if they strain too hard, at best, will provide 80 billion. They simply don’t have more. But in this case, Europe will have to pay a rather high price.

In addition, gas tends to evaporate during delivery. Thus, some of the fuel may be wasted. If we take supplies from Qatar, then there, despite the fact that the distance is shorter, the losses can still be about 40%.

There remain such suppliers as Gazprom and NOVATEK. But the latter will supply gas only to places where prices are higher. Now it is the European market that demonstrates the upward trend in prices. But the fact is that the European Union is simply not accustomed to high prices for blue fuel.

“SP”: – We’ll have to get used to it, apparently.

– It’s easy to say. The increase in the cost of gas, which threatens the EU, will cause an increase in the cost of manufactured products, including high-tech ones.

Household appliances, microelectronics will rise in price etc. Europe has lost manufacturing plants to Southeast Asia before, and now this flight will intensify, as energy costs are lower there. For example, recently a BMW plant was opened in Vietnam. And soon people will be driving prestigious Vietnamese and Chinese-made cars. All this will spur job cuts in Europe, a significant drop in living standards and a social explosion.

“SP”: – That is, Germany’s accusations against Gazprom, which allegedly politicizes the situation by reducing supplies, are not justified?

“Our side is striving to avoid a social explosion in the European Union, because it will not bring anything good either to it or to us. Therefore, we try to keep the supply of fuel. But it is not clear to me how the Europeans will get out of the situation – how they will find a way to take these compressors out of Canada – these are very large devices that need to be transported competently.

It is unlikely that compressors installed at Nord Stream 2 will be transferred to Nord Stream. In a good way, of course, they should urgently launch the SP-2, which is quite within their power, and also resolve the issue with Canada.

These actions are necessary for the economic survival of the EU. But this requires qualified politicians capable of making adequate decisions. The last of these was Angela Merkel. But she has already left her post, and she can hardly do anything due to her age. And now there are simply no such politicians in the EU, in my opinion. And it’s hard for me to say how they will try to prevent the impending disaster.

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