“Satellite images of the Portovaya compression station show a huge flare as large amounts of gas are burned off.”
Russia is burning off massive amounts of natural gas while continuing to cut down on supplies to Europe, the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle revealed on Friday.
According to the German broadcaster, satellite images show that Russians are burning “unusually high” amount of natural gas which would have otherwise been fed to the Nord Stream 1, the main supply pipeline to Germany.
The Russian state-owned suppliers have been doing this for months, during which they have been slashing gas exports to Europe, claiming maintenance issues and unexpected repair work, the broadcaster added.
Germany’s Deutsche Welle reported:
Russia has been wasting vast amounts of natural gas while cutting its supplies to Europe, analysts from the Norwegian energy consultancy Rystad Energy revealed on Friday.
Satellite images of the Portovaya compression station show a huge flare as large amounts of gas are burned off.
The facility is close to the border with Finland and is part of the network that feeds the Nord Stream 1 pipeline bringing gas into Germany. Flows through the pipeline have been reduced to just 20% of its capacity.
“Exact flaring volume levels are hard to quantify but are believed to be at levels of around 4.34 million cubic meters per day,” the consultancy said, adding that the figure “equates to 1.6 billion cubic meters on an annualized basis.”
Burning off some gas or oil — known as flaring — is a common practice, but the level being recorded is unusually high.
It was first reported in Finland earlier in the month. Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, may have been burning off €1,000-worth ($998.70) of gas per hour for the past two months, according to Esa Vakkilainen, a professor at LUT University.
The news comes as ordinary Germans are being told by their government to take cold showers and turn down the heating as gas prices shoot through the roof. German politicians fears that Moscow could permanently stop their gas supply, causing massive disruption in the country’s commercial and industrial activities.
The German media also complained about the greenhouse gas emissions the Kremlin was causing by burning off the natural gas, But its is unlikely that Putin gives a damn about the Russian carbon footprint as he wages a bloody war of aggression and redraws the map of Europe.
Why Nord Stream 1 Matters
The cutting of the Russia gas supply via Nord Stream 1 is a really bad news for Berlin. The 700-mile Baltic Sea pipeline is the lifeline of the German economy.
Explaining the vital importance of pipeline, the German weekly Der Spiegel noted that “Europeans, and Germans in particular, risk running out of gas in the winter if supplies through Nord Stream, the pipeline that delivers gas directly from Russia to Germany, don’t increase again.”
Under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s watch, the German industry got hooked on cheap Russian gas. Before Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine in late February, Russia was supplying 40 percent of Europe’s gas, and Germany was its best customer.
In her last years in office, Chancellor Merkel rolled out a massive energy transition program (Die Energiewende), to wean Germany away from ‘evil’ Climate Change-causing oil and coal, but invested billions in undersea pipeline projects designed to connect Russia gas fields to the German energy grid. Today, as Putin slashes gas supplies, German politicians are coming to realize that you can’t run a nation’s economy on wind mills and solar panels.DONATE
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