Oct 19, 2021
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Gas trap: “General Frost” will show Britain Kuzkin’s mother

Gas trap:

oto: Alistair Grant / AP / TASS

Europe has always been a vital landmark for us, a symbol of prosperity and stability. And from there, alarming news comes, especially from Great Britain, which, having been part of the European Union for some time, broke away and went on a free economic voyage. Immediately this frivolity backfired on the British – there was not enough gas or gasoline for everyone. It got to the point that the Russian ambassador there, Andrey Kelin promised the British that “abroad will help them,” in the sense, of course, Russia.

Britain with the Russian ambassador – will overcome the gas crisis, despite the fact that in this island kingdom Gazprom’s share in the supply of blue fuel is … about three percent. The remaining 97% are Norway, USA and Qatar.

“Of course, if there is an opportunity, we will come to the rescue, we will do our best to alleviate the conditions that have now created a real crisis,” the Russian diplomat was quoted by RIA Novosti.

Gas prices not only in Britain, but also in Europe in general have risen sharply recently, futures have reached a historical maximum of 1937 dollars per thousand cubic meters. Perhaps two thousand? After all, as he wrote George Martin “Winter Is Coming”. And winter is horror, as his books testify, and as last season showed us. In the UK, in six months, a dozen and a half energy companies went bankrupt, which served about one and a half million consumers – two percent of the kingdom’s population.

Already, EU officials are forced to admit that Russia is not to blame for the outbreak of the gas crisis, and will not be able to help anything until it fills up its underground gas storage facilities. Now the Europeans have only one hope – in Qatar, because the latter really wanted to oust Gazprom from the EU market. However, when it came down to business, the Arabs backed up.

Entrepreneur Alexey Shmatko confirms from London that all this affected ordinary Britons:

– Many have received more electricity and gas bills than they were before. This also affected our family. I paid 75 pounds for electricity and gas, now I have 175 pounds to pay – more than double. Indeed, queues have formed at gas stations. The authorities explain this by problems with truckers’ licenses. But in fact, the problem is not this, but the “left” regulation.

The fact that somewhere “truckers have disappeared” is a stupid explanation. It’s not about Brexit. In short, fuel stations were so regulated that it seemed to some owners that it was easier to close them altogether than to comply with the new conditions, working in a system of strict restrictions.

Why this happened is absolutely clear to me, as a former employee of a large Russian gas company (I don’t want to name it out loud).

The first reason is the de facto ban on the development of new deposits, practically all over the world. The second is the closure of the Gruningen field in the Netherlands from the first quarter of 2022. It supplied Germany and northern Europe. Pole gas production decline in the North Sea. And this is all because of the “wonderful” green policy.

In short, the “green turn” policy is aimed at one thing – to hinder developing countries. But no one canceled the Second Law of Thermodynamics and, in general, the Laws of Conservation of Energy.

“SP”: – So, you think that the real reason for the “green” policy is an attempt to strike at Southeast Asia? But they do it.

– Well, how – prices have gone up everywhere. Fossil fuel price problems in Asia began with the disaster at the Japanese nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Fearing that nuclear power was dangerous, Japan began to abandon nuclear power. But she still needs energy, and they started purchasing fossil fuels: oil and gas. Plus the rapid growth of China, its transition from coal to gas.

Problems should not be viewed at local points. California is dry and sunny, it is interesting to develop solar energy there. It is rainy but windy in Scotland, windmills are good. In general, in the world there is such a concept as energy balance, which many do not know about.

This world energy balance uses 30% of coal, oil and gas. The remaining 10% is distributed as follows: 7% – nuclear energy and 3% so-called renewable energy. Of these 3%, 2.5% is hydropower, and 0.5% is everything else: wind turbines, solar panels, and so on. Somewhere locally, they take up a lot of space, but in the world as a whole, the energy balance is still working.

The second factor: there are countries of the “Golden Billion” – Europe and North America and – the rest of the world. Energy consumption per capita varies considerably between them. The difference between the average American and the average Indian is fifteen to twenty times. Between the American and the Chinese – ten times. Even in Europe, energy consumption is two times less than in America.

The main challenge of our time is that the inhabitants of Asian countries, thanks to the Internet, learn the Western way of life. They see that everyone there drives cars, they wash dishes in dishwashers, they have running water in the house, they vacuum clean. And they want the same for themselves.

But the problem is that if the inhabitants of Asia, Africa and Latin America increase their consumption twice, then no energy will be enough for everyone. It is necessary either to develop new, modern sources of energy, which include, for example, nuclear, or simply to limit consumption. Politicians around the world have decided to choose the second path – to reduce consumption.

All “green” policy is related solely to limiting energy consumption. They are trying to stop development. I can tell right away that none of this will come of it. People who have tried to live in the 21st century cannot be forced to return to the Stone Age. Of course, some individuals want this, but the number of such people is at the level of statistical error.

In the nineteenth century, cholera raged on the streets of London and manure was knee-deep. Now everything is clean and tidy. And all the countries of the Third World – want about the same …

In general, Europe has nowhere to get gas. Already the Minister of Energy of Qatar Saad al-Kaabi admitted that it was impossible to increase the supply of liquefied natural gas produced by him. The Arabs can only follow the huge demand from all sides, unable to offer anything beyond the plan. Satisfying everyone is not possible. Qatar has currently “exhausted” its production and is unable to increase gas supplies. Who else to ask? Iran is not, it is bad, under sanctions.

Qatar, of course, although it is engaged in gas production, is by no means a trendsetter. The United States produces the most gas. The average annual production of natural gas there has amounted to almost a trillion cubic meters in the past few years. This is 23% of the world’s total gas production, which is four trillion cubic meters per year. But the Americans themselves need it. In addition, they routinely transport their LNG to Southeast Asia. Russia is in second place with 679 billion – this is 17% of the world market. In third place is Iran.

Director of the Energy Development Fund Sergey Pikin recalls that in Britain gas storage facilities are one hundred percent full and the problem is not in the cost of pipeline gas, but in the cost of liquefied gas.

– As you understand, we do not supply the pipeline pipeline to Great Britain – Russian pipes were not laid along the bed of the Channel. The only Russian company that supplies gas there is PAO NOVATEK, but it has all contracts scheduled for a long time ahead.

In continental Europe, too, the situation is not uniform. Let’s say there is France with a filling level of underground storage facilities of 95%, and there is Germany, there is 75%. In Austria, it is below sixty percent. But the Austrians do not need to fill their storage facilities, a country located in the very center of Europe, you can always use pipeline gas.

The question is different. It is not about storage facilities, but about the fact that gas remains available in winter and storage facilities do not have to be used to the maximum during the temperature drop. So far, the forecast for the winter is cold, like last year. But maybe winter will be an ordinary “European” one.

“SP”: – In Europe, they are going to shut down production from the famous Dutch field Greningen. Will this affect the situation? Or will they change their minds to give it up? It somehow looks stupid in the current situation.

– No, they will not change their minds, the closure of the field is going on as planned and this is due to environmental consequences. But we are not talking about the usual fight against CO2, but about the subsidence of the layers of the earth’s crust as a result of gas production.

They are moving towards this step by step. Europe – staked on exchange trading, on liquefied gas. She believes that she will get unlimited gas from her neighbor to the east in any case, and to make the price good, they also connected exchange trading. In practice, it turned out that this is far from the case.

“SP”: – What was conceived in theory, was not confirmed in practice?

– They thought that everything would be like with the supply of corn: you have a contract for the supply of corn, and plus you can always buy it in unlimited quantities. There is competition, suppliers are actively fighting for you, reducing the price. With corn – everything is great. But they forgot that you can live without corn, replacing it with something else. And without gas it turned out that no – in winter you can freeze.

“SP:” – But what about coal, fuel oil, atom, renewable energy?

– Coal stations are being closed all over the place. The last stronghold of the coal confrontation in Europe is Poland. In the next ten years, they will not remain in Europe at all. They have a stake on green generation, but it is uneven due to the unstable resource of wind and sun. Nuclear power plants are being closed in Germany. There are few countries in Europe that are rich in water resources.

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