Energy: Double blow to Europe by Gazprom and US – Berlin rage over Russian stance

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The German government said on Wednesday that Russia was playing political games with gas supplies.

The European gas market has been hit twice as hard since closing the faucet by Gazprombut also the unexpected accident at Freeport LNG, Texas’ main gas export complex that is responsible for much of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) coming from offshore Europe to date.

Gazprom’s stance provoked her strong dissatisfaction with Berlin, who ignored the excuses of the Russian gas supply company. The German government said Wednesday that Russia was playing political games with gas supplies as shipments through the Nord Stream submarine plummeted.

“I have the impression that what happened… is a political decision, “and not a technically justified decision,” said German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck.

Gazprom announced reduction of gas flows from 167 million cubic meters per day through the Russia-Germany pipeline to no more than 67 million cubic meters from Thursday, citing the need to shut down two compressors. He said the necessary parts were “stuck” due to sanctions at a maintenance facility in Canada.

This adds to the EU’s gas problems following the fire and explosion in the Freeport LNG.

“It is a double blow for the European gas market, “Tom Marzek-Manser, head of gas analysis at the Independent Commodity Intelligence Services, told Politico. “The combination of the two parameters, and the uncertainty that both provide, means that deliveries in the summer will not be as high as originally expected; which obviously has an impact on gas availability in the winter.”

Despite these cuts in deliveries, the EU is still lagging behind in its efforts to cut Russian gas imports. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has promised to reduce Russian gas from 155 billion cubic meters (bcm) last year to about 51 billion cubic meters this year, but that commitment is already unattainable.

As of Tuesday, EU countries had already imported 51 bcm via a pipeline from Russia, according to the Bruegel think tank in Brussels, which collects weekly data from European gas operators. Ben McWilliams, a research analyst at Bruegel, said the report did not include Russian marine LNG, which would add about 10% to the total.

“Achieving a total reduction of two-thirds requires an end to all Russian imports tomorrow,” he said.

The commission did not respond to a request for comment from Politico on how it would influence its plans to rely on more US LNG this winter. The European Union, Israel and Egypt However, on Wednesday they signed a protocol of agreement on the supply of Europe with natural gas, during the visit of the President of the European Commission to Cairo. Europe seeks to find other sources of supply, following Russia’s decision to cut off supplies to some European countries. Prior to Egypt, von der Leyen visited Ukraine and Israel.

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