Let’s go for an energy nightmare – Europe’s political dwarfs have succeeded

Let’s go for an energy nightmare – Europe’s political dwarfs have succeeded
Let’s go for an energy nightmare – Europe’s political dwarfs have succeeded

Europe is facing an unprecedented energy shock after Gazprom announced the indefinite closure of the pipeline natural gas Nord Stream. The announcement came as Europe plans to impose a cap, amid threats from Moscow.

In the announcement, Gazprom cited a technical problem, as reported by Bloomberg. Gazprom claims that the turbine cannot be operated safely. The announcement did not give any timeline as to when it will be able to restore the natural gas pipeline.

In an attempt to reassure the world, Germany’s gas regulator said the country was now better prepared for a supply cut from Russia, but urged citizens and companies to curb consumption after Gazprom announced that the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will remain closed for now.

“With Russia’s decision not to allow gas to flow through Nord Stream 1 at this time, LNG terminals, the associated storage levels and significant savings become even more important,” Klaus Müller tweeted. , the president of the Bundesnetzagentur.

“It’s good that Germany is now better prepared, but now it’s up to each and every one of us,” he added. However, behind the statements the facts and figures do not allow for complacency.

Can Europe do without Russian oil and gas?

THE GermanyEurope’s largest economy, was the largest importer in 2021, followed by Italy. In 2021, the United Kingdom imported 4% of its needs from Russia and in June this year, it did not import Russian gas for the third consecutive month, the BBC noted.

On the other hand, the USA they do not import natural gas from Russia. However, they are affected when Russia cuts supplies to the mainland Europeas this causes increase in global natural gas prices.

The EU has agreed to ban all seaborne imports of Russian oil by the end of this year. It will allow oil to continue to be imported via pipelines as a “temporary measure” because countries such as Hungary and the Slovakia they depend on it.

oil from Russia, Greece

The US has declared a total ban on oil imports from Russia and the volume of UK oil imports has plummeted over the last year.

Some European countries could squeeze their oil supplies because of the ban.

Lithuania and Finland got about 80% of their oil from Russia last November, according to the latest figures available.

How much gas does Nord Stream 1 deliver?

nord stream pipeline, countries, natural gas, gazprom

The pipeline Nord Stream 1 extends 1,200 km (745 miles) below the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast near the Saint Petersburg to the northeast Germany.

Opened in 2011 and can ship up to 170 million cubic meters of natural gas per day from Russia to Germany. The pipeline is owned and operated by Nord Stream AG, the majority shareholder of which is the Russian state-owned company Gazprom.

Germany had also previously approved the construction of a parallel pipeline – Nord Stream 2 – but the project stopped after the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

How Russia Cut Off Supplies

  1. In May, Gazprom shut down the Yamal gas pipeline, which runs through Belarus and Poland and delivers gas to Germany and in other European countries.
  2. In June, Gazprom reduced natural gas deliveries via Nord Stream 1 by 75% – from 170 million cubic meters of natural gas per day to about 40 million cubic meters.
  3. In July, it shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for 10 days, citing the need for maintenance.
  4. Shortly after the reopening, Gazprom halve the amount which was supplying 20 million cubic meters due to what it called a technical problem with faulty equipment.
  5. It has now completely halted all gas supplies to Europe via the pipeline, again claiming repairs are needed.

In August, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck denied there were technical issues and said the pipeline was fully operational.

However, the representative of the Russian president Vladimir Putin insisted that Western sanctions caused the outages by damaging Russian infrastructure.

Gazprom also said it would suspend natural gas deliveries to French energy company Engie.

Europe is heading for recession at full speed

Europe – and especially the Germany – has historically depended heavily on Russian gas to cover them its energy needs.

When Russia announced its intention to cut supply in July, within a day the wholesale price of natural gas in Europe had risen by 10%.

Gas prices are now about 450% higher than they were last year.

“The market is so tight right now that any disruption in supply causes more increases in the price of natural gas,” notes Carole Nakhle, CEO of analysts Crystal Energy.

“That could cause slowdown in European economies and yes accelerates the path to recession».

Europe’s reaction

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of waging “an open gas war against a united Europe”. “Russia is increasingly using natural gas,” agrees Kate Dourian, a fellow at the Energy Institute.

“It’s trying to show that it’s still an energy superpower and it can fight back [εναντίον] of the sanctions imposed on it by Europe”.

Before Russia invades Ukraine, the Germany used to get 55% of its natural gas from Russia. He succeeded in reducing this figure to 35% and pledged to end imports entirely. In this context, it sought to obtain alternative natural gas supplies from Norway and Netherlands.

It is also buying five floating terminals to import liquefied natural gas from Qatar and the US, Ms Dourian says. However, this will involve building new pipelines from the coast to the rest of Germany, which will last several months.

Germany it also increases carbon use and extends their life power plants which he planned to close – despite the negative environmental effects.

THE Italy and Spain are trying to import more natural gas from Algeria. “It’s every man for himself,” says Ms Dourian. “Everyone is taking their own steps to solve the energy shortage and making their own deals.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised further action, telling a conference in Slovenia that the energy market was “no longer fit for purpose”.

“We see that the electricity market is no longer working because it has been massively disrupted by Putin’s manipulations,” said Von der Leyenadding that a ceiling on the price of natural gas in Russian pipeline supplies could be proposed at the European level.

The ex Russian President Dmitry Medvedev responded that Moscow would cut off supplies to Europe if Brussels imposed such a cap.

Europe is unprepared for the interruption of Russian natural gas

The EU has drawn up an agreement in which member states cut usage by 15%. The German government hopes to cut gas use by 2% by limiting the use of lighting and heating in public buildings this winter.

Spain has already introduced similar rules and Switzerland is considering doing the same.

Many European citizens are also taking action themselves. “In Germany,” says Ms. Nakhle, “people buy wood stoves and install solar panels. Everyone is taking steps to reduce natural gas use.

“We should not underestimate how seriously people take the prospect of gas shortages.” But all this was subject to the condition that there would be, even a reduced flow of natural gas from Russia. The sudden shutdown of the flow to Europe plunges the Old Continent into unprecedented adventures.

The G7 puts a cap on oil, Moscow ends sales

At the same time, finance ministers from the G7, the Group of Seven of the world’s most powerful economies, plan to “urgently” implement a cap on the price of Russian oil and oil products, and are encouraging a “broad coalition” of countries to take part. as they confirm in their joint statement issued today, with Russia wasting no time and replying that “the sales are over”.

“The price ceiling will be set at a level based on a series of technical data and decided by the whole coalition before its implementation,” the seven countries wrote in the statement, assuring that future prices “will be announced publicly in a clear and transparent manner”.

“Our aim is to align the implementation with the timetable of the relevant measures within the sixth package of EU sanctions,” they add.

Medvedev: “There will simply be no Russian gas in Europe”

gazprom, natural gas, europe

“I firmly believe that the time has come to impose a ceiling on Russian natural gas imported through pipelines to Europe,” the head of the European Commission had emphasized. Ursula fon der Laienspeaking to journalists on the sidelines of the conference of conservative German parliamentarians in Murnau.

Reacting to her comments, the former president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedevwrote on messaging app Telegram: “There will simply be no Russian gas in Europe.”

Russia, through the mouth of Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, announced that any country that imposes a ceiling on energy prices will no longer have access to Russian gas.

“As far as the price ceiling is concerned. If they impose a ceiling, we simply to such companies or countries that will impose restrictions, we will not supply them with oil and oil products, because we will not work non-competitively”, stressed Novak.

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The article is in Greek

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