A large proportion of German industries and households have long been supplied by natural gas flows via Nord Stream 1. Germany in turn Exports gas to southern Swedenalthough it is unclear what percentage of these shipments come from Russia.
There are now reports from the Finnish-Russian border that large amounts of gas that was supposed to be delivered via Nord Stream 1 is being flared at a facility north of Saint Petersburg, which BBC mentioned.
Burning excess gas, otherwise called flaring, is not unusual in itself when it is done for technical or safety reasons.
But according to an estimate by energy consultant Rystad Energy, in this case it is 4.3 million cubic meters of gas – per day.
– I’ve never seen an LNG plant burn that much, Jessica McCarty, an expert in satellite data at the University of Miami in Ohio, tells the BBC.
Burning harms the environment
So residents speculate about motives other than the routine burning.
Some believe this is due to the technical challenges involved in handling the large volumes of gas that will be delivered through Nord Stream 1.
Others believe that it is due to operational reasons.
“Operators are often very reluctant to actually shut down facilities for fear that restarting them would be technically difficult or costly, and that may be the case here,” said Mark Davis, CEO of Capterio, a company working on an alternative to gas flaring. for BBC.
Another theory is Europe’s trade embargo on Russia. Obviously, this can be seen as a display of muscle in the energy field.
“Although the exact causes of the burning are not known, the volumes, emissions and location of the burning are a visual reminder of Russia’s dominance of European energy markets,” says Sindre Knutsson of Rystad Energy.
Regardless of the amounts of gas or the reasons for its combustion, burning has a negative impact on the environment. Scientists are concerned in part about the large amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, but also about the soot that burning generates.
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