Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Between Ukraine and Gas Pipeline’s Destruction, Russian Gas Exports to Europe Hit ‘Post-Soviet Low’

Between Ukraine and Gas Pipeline’s Destruction, Russian Gas Exports to Europe Hit ‘Post-Soviet Low’

Russia’s Lavrov says EU not conducting proper investigation of Nord Stream 2 explosions.

The last time we checked in on the status of the Nord Strem 2 Pipeline, which suffered a destructive explosion last fall amid the Ukraine-Russia War, Swedish investigators found traces of explosives at the underwater site and declared that the incident was an act of “gross sabotage.”

There has been media silence on the subject for some time, so I thought a quick check on the status of investigations or discoveries would be in order. In the wake of the pipeline’s destruction and continuing hostilities, Russian gas exports to Europe via pipelines plummeted to a post-Soviet low.

The European Union, traditionally Russia’s largest consumer for oil and gas, has for years spoken about cutting its reliance on Russian energy, but Brussels got serious after the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine in February.

State-controlled Gazprom, citing Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller, a long-standing ally of President Vladimir Putin, said its exports outside of ex-Soviet Union will reach 100.9 billion cubic metres (bcm) this year.

That is a fall of more than 45% from 185.1 bcm in 2021 and includes supplies to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline, through which Gazprom supplied 10.39 bcm last year.

Russian direct gas exports to Germany, Europe’s largest economy, were halted in September following blasts at the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

In late December, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that no European countries were conducting a proper investigation.

After the explosions on Nord Stream – which, it appears nobody in the European Union is going to objectively investigate – Russia stopped gas transportation through the northern routes,” Lavrov said.

Russia has blamed Britain for the explosions – claims rejected by London. Investigators in Sweden and Denmark say they were the deliberate results of sabotage, though they have not named any possible culprits.

The Washington Post, quoting diplomats and intelligence officials, reported on Wednesday that no conclusive evidence had emerged to suggest that Russia itself was behind the attacks, as some Western governments and analysts had claimed in the immediate aftermath.

Finally, a Swiss court granted the operating company a six-month “stay of bankruptcy” for the never-opened pipeline.

The company’s stay was extended from Jan. 10 through July 10 by a regional court in the Swiss canton (state) of Zug, according to a notice published Wednesday in the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce.

Nord Stream 2 AG, a subsidiary of Russia’s Gazprom, is based in Zug. Nord Stream 2’s court-appointed administrator, Transliq AG, sought the extension.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government halted the certification process for the pipeline on Feb. 22, after Russia recognized the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered sent troops into Ukraine two days later, and U.S. President Joe Biden President then directed his administration to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 operating company.

It will be interesting to see if, at the end of 6 months, any further information is offered on the saboteurs’ identity or if hostilities between Ukraine and Russia have ended.

DONATE

Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.

Comments

There won’t be a proper investigation into the pipeline explosion be ause they know it was the United States who blew up the pipeline. The Euros don’t care their citizens will freeze to death in the winter, they are standing on principle because they’ve decided the corrupt kleptocrat country of Ukraine is more important to defend.

    GravityOpera in reply to chrisboltssr. | January 9, 2023 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks for the laugh. Russia blew three of the four unused pipes. Europe is pretending they don’t know because they would have to man up and properly support Ukraine otherwise.

      Free State Paul in reply to GravityOpera. | January 10, 2023 at 5:26 pm

      Please give us an even remotely plausible scenario whereby Russia would destroy their own pipelines.

        GravityOpera in reply to Free State Paul. | January 11, 2023 at 12:17 am

        It’s implausible that Ukraine would take the risk of pissing off Europe.
        It’s implausible that it was terrorists because nobody has publicly claimed credit.
        It’s implausible that any other nation would commit an obvious and unnecessary act of war.
        That leaves extraterrestrials and Russia. Russian stupidity wins that matchup handily.

If you live on the Atlantic Coast or New England and see your power bill increasing by 50%, this is why. The LNG ships that used to provide additional supplies to the NE are going to Europe instead. And those few incremental shipments are disproportionately increasing total costs.

Build a pipeline and your prices will fall by 25%. Don’t build a pipeline and this is just the beginning of your price increases.

    CommoChief in reply to MattMusson. | January 9, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    The funny part, for those of us who don’t live in areas impacted by foolish energy policies, is the wholesale abandonment of NG by these places. Several States will be imposing a ban on installation of NG heating, water heaters, stoves and so forth.

    These States will instead require installation of electric only appliances and heaters. Simultaneously they shut down coal fired electric generation and NG fired electric generation. They are mandating unrealistic electric generation from wind and solar.

    No one believes these policies can work, not even their proponents, who suggest that ‘future technology’ will materialize to make their plan feasible. Meanwhile they increase demand on the electrical grid while decreasing reliable grid output. If anyone chooses to stay in these places and suffers the impact of these plainly unworkable policies I can’t muster much sympathy. Get out before it’s too late.

We have yet to conduct an honest investigation of Russiagate, J6, Covid origins, and election improprieties. Ain’t no way corrupt eurocrats are going to investigate this in any trustworthy fashion.

Otto Kringelein | January 9, 2023 at 1:04 pm

The Washington Post, quoting diplomats and intelligence officials, reported on Wednesday that no conclusive evidence had emerged to suggest that Russia itself was behind the attacks, as some Western governments and analysts had claimed in the immediate aftermath.

And as I’ve said many times the whole “Russia did it” scenario is just insane. The Russian government controlled what went into the pipeline and therefore controlled what came out at the other end. And given that simple fact there is no reason whatsoever for the Russians to have sabotaged the pipeline. If they didn’t want the gas to flow then they could have simply just turned the valve at their end to “Off” and been done with it. So no, they didn’t do it because they had no reason to do it.

We all know who did it. We all know why he did what he did. But we’ll never know because there will be no honest, transparent investigation of the matter.

    GravityOpera in reply to Otto Kringelein. | January 9, 2023 at 7:19 pm

    Russia DID shut off the gas. It didn’t work to break European will so Russia took the next step. This allowed them to play the victim and avoid contractual obligations. The bankruptcy delay is exactly in line with that goal.

    Yes, we all know Putin did it and why. There won’t be an honest transparent investigation because that would require Europe to man up.

      CommoChief in reply to GravityOpera. | January 9, 2023 at 8:29 pm

      Color me skeptical of your claims. Maintaining the capacity to send flows of NG to Europe is leverage over Europe. It makes zero sense for Russia to have done this.

      Why give up that leverage to try and get a PR win from a western media who wouldn’t countenance granted a PR victory? For domestic concerns? Most Russians, at root, support the people in the Donbas region and not the Ukrainian govt. They are ethnic, cultural and linguistically Russian not Ukrainian.

        GravityOpera in reply to CommoChief. | January 9, 2023 at 8:45 pm

        You’re forgetting that one of the four NS pipes was spared. Russia maintained their capability for energy blackmail. Because NS2 hadn’t been officially approved this improved the Russian situation by placing the blame for lack of gas back on Europe.

        Yeah, Ukraine and their government have been moving away from Russia. It makes sense Russians wouldn’t like them.

          CommoChief in reply to GravityOpera. | January 10, 2023 at 11:49 am

          Your argument was that the Russians blew up the pipelines to claim victim hood status. You then agree that the Russian people support their govt so this wouldn’t makes sense from a domestic PR perspective and we seem to agree that international PR wouldn’t make sense due to western media thumb on the scales.

          That puts paid to your claim of motive for the Russians to blow up the pipelines as a PR stunt. Erasing the ability to leverage energy as weapon is doesn’t make sense either, even if we allow your 3/4 argument.

          The reality is we won’t know what occurred. The reason is that there are no true neutral Nations who both the Russians and the West trust to conduct and report as disinterested third parties. That is the fault of the bandwagon to rush to judgement in this entire fiasco in a Russia =bad, Ukraine= good without any real context.

          This is essentially like a game where one player is flagged for retaliation and the reasons he retaliated are ignored. That may be reasonable for Monday Night Football but it is not for the real world. There are no white hats in this conflict and the sooner it is ended the sooner lives stop being lost over the egos of two totalitarian Eastern European leaders.

          GravityOpera in reply to GravityOpera. | January 11, 2023 at 12:29 am

          @CommoChief,
          I did not claim that Russians like or support their government. I said that they dislike the kholhol for not being Russian, not wanting to be Russian, and not wanting to be Russia’s bitch again.

          Several months into a several day Special Military Operation with tens of thousands of casualties (KIA only, not counting wounded) and massive losses of military material, sanctions squeezing the economy, and international condemnation? Yeah, Putin needs domestic PR.

          This PR has also been effective on Western audiences. Even here there are a few comments and thumbs up supporting the idea that Russia was the victim of someone else.

          I also want Biden to stop restricting aid to Ukraine so they can push out the invaders quickly. Imagine if they had gotten HiMARS and ATACMS in April instead of just HiMARS at the end of June.

      Victor Immature in reply to GravityOpera. | January 10, 2023 at 5:04 am

      Pretzel weed-logic. You can’t be serious believing Putin is worried about “contractual obligations? So you say He shut off the pipeline and then decided to blow it up to play victim? More insanity, he knows he’s not getting any victim sympathy anywhere, he’s the out of control tyrant, remember? And what good would playing the victim do? Utter nonsense.

      ICYMI, Biden gave it away, he said we would end the pipeline. That’s too obvious though, it must be a devious Putin plot, What is he, Wile E Coyote?

      All of this is about installing a globalist in Moscow that will play ball and give access to their resources. I remember reading about another guy who tried that.

        GravityOpera in reply to Victor Immature. | January 11, 2023 at 12:42 am

        Reducing costs and obligations when under sanctions is A benefit, not the sole benefit.
        Putin is not out of control. He’s acting as decades of Western failure and appeasement had taught him what he could get away with.
        Russia is getting victim sympathy. Even here in the comments to this article. It was also good for domestic consumption.

        Biden was referring to NS2 only and it was effectively ended when the operating certification was denied by Europe. There was no benefit for the West to not only blow them up, but spare one of the NS2 pipes.

        Give access to their resources? Europe was getting Russian resources to the point that Putin used them as blackmail by cutting off the flow of gas which he did on previous occasions to the current invasion.

        “Everything is Hitler’s The Globalists fault!”
        Seriously? Countries are waking up to foreign resource blackmail, the downsides of intermingling their economies with hostiles, and are re-invigorating their military capabilities. That’s the opposite of The Globalists goal.

          Victor Immature in reply to GravityOpera. | January 11, 2023 at 5:14 am

          I haven’t seen one example of a column/article anywhere sympathizing over Putin’s broken pipeline nor a comment her or anywhere. All I see are articles proclaiming “Ukraine has the Russians on the run!” (they just need another billion or 50)

Considering Russia’s relentless attacks on Ukrainian’s infrastructure it’s a reasonable conclusion that Ukraine was behind the sabotage of the pipelines. They benefit by denying Russian’s economic benefits from the sale of natural gas. Money that they are using to buy weapons from Iran, China and North Korea.

    ConradCA in reply to ConradCA. | January 9, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    The next step is for Ukraine to launch massive attacks on Russian airports, oil refineries, power generators and bridges. Knocking out. Significant portion of these will show Russians the consequences of war against Ukraine.

      Free State Paul in reply to ConradCA. | January 10, 2023 at 5:33 pm

      And how would the Ukraine launch “massive” attacks on anything Russian at this point? They lost the war last summer. Unless NATO steps in directly, it’s a lost cause and Zelensky is a dead man walking.

    GravityOpera in reply to ConradCA. | January 9, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    Russia shut off the gas and wasn’t getting any economic benefit from the pipes. Why would Ukraine waste military capability on a non-issue?

First, I see no logic for the US to be involved in the disruption of the pipeline.

It’s also unlikely that Europe would risk exacerbating a looming crisis by cutting of the supply of gas to themselves, although an argument could be made for depriving Russia of leverage and diverting criticism from stupidly becoming dependant upon Russian good behavior in the first place.

Ukraine may have an interest but a very dangerous gamble with an outcome that could cut both ways. They didn’t, couldn’t do it.

That pretty much leaves the Russians. Blowing up the pipeline makes europe suffer for their support of Ukraine while Russia can claim to be the victim. It allows them to then divert flow of gas to China and elsewhere without being pressured to resume supplying europe, Russia is the only country with an interest and the means to do it.

    CommoChief in reply to merleman. | January 10, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    The US certainly has the means as does the UK. Both the US and the UK have reserves sufficient to meet a large portion of European energy needs.

    That doesn’t mean either did it, but both have the means and sufficient financial motivation to have done it. That also has the effect of further cementing Europe as subordinate to the US. Now the US has been placed in a position as guarantor of European energy needs as well as their security/defense needs.

    The US wants Europe in a subordinate position and dependant upon the US. So do the globalists. Our current international trade and international finance system is predicated upon a state of peace. Conflict is unhealthy for the corporate bottom line b/c the system has been created to be inexorably interdependent. That’s why the globalists are so determined to destroy Putin, not because he invaded but b/c it threatened the entire global interdependent financial and trading network. It’s about profits not any deep seated principle.

    Free State Paul in reply to merleman. | January 10, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    Merleman, you are so clueless you can only be a high-ranking CIA analyst. Nobody else would say anything so idiotic.