Gas prices on European stock exchanges again exceeded $1,500 per thousand cubic meters. The rapid growth began after Gazprom reduced supplies via Nord Stream to Europe from 167 million cubic meters per day to 67. The reason is objective. There is no malicious intent on the part of Russia here. It’s just that the German company Siemens, which has contractual obligations for repairs to Russia, sent the turbine for maintenance to Canada. And now they are saying that they cannot return the turbine because of anti-Russian sanctions. Now Germany and Canada are in sluggish negotiations over the return of Nord Stream equipment. For now, it’s a dead end. Europe, meanwhile, is already running out of winter supplies from gas storage. Panic.
Sanctions, it turns out, live their own lives and spontaneously multiply. A couple of weeks ago, in Europe, on the verge of adopting the sixth package of sanctions, they announced the seventh package, which, in theory, could include the gas embargo in some form. Such a step is supposed to be taken responsibly – to create reserves for the winter, to find new suppliers for the future, but now there is a ban on the supply of gas equipment to Russia – and, please, dreams come true. Other times suddenly.
“Due to the end of the time between overhauls before overhaul (in accordance with the instructions of Rostekhnadzor and taking into account the technical condition of the engine), Gazprom is stopping the operation of another Siemens gas turbine engine at the Portovaya CS,” Gazprom said.
Portovaya provides gas transportation through the Nord Stream-1 pipeline. According to the Federal Grid Agency of Germany, the shutdown of the worn-out turbine led to the fact that the transit of fuel was reduced by 40%, according to information from Gazprom, by all 60%. Germany is forced to completely stop pumping gas to French consumers; Italy. Why not the seventh package? At the same time, it is fair to ask how it happened that Gazprom did not have a replacement? And it’s just that Siemens has not yet returned a similar unit from a major overhaul in Montreal – the Canadian authorities arrested it in accordance with the sanctions law of June 8 this year.
“Siemens has also confirmed that there is a supply from Canada that has not yet arrived, but whether there is a causal relationship between this gas turbine and a large number of supply cuts is not verifiable,” says Beate Baron, a spokesman for the German Ministry of Economy.
In fact, everything is verifiable – you can call Siemens and ask about the operational characteristics of its turbines, compare them with the volumes of gas received – carry out analytical work, that is, there would be a desire, but it is not, because as a result of the investigation, there is a 100% chance to find themselves, and then it will not be possible to blame the problems of the heating season on Russia. 90% by November 1 – it is believed that such a level of filling underground storage facilities will make it possible to survive the winter normally, but instead of pumping gas into UGSFs from Saturday, they began to raise it, which obviously violates this schedule.
“We cannot approach winter if the gas storages are 56% full, they must be full, otherwise we are really just not ready. We must not have illusions, we are in a confrontation with Putin. , and to industry: let’s save energy,” said German Economy Minister Robert Habeck.
Boil eggs in the dishwasher, do not linger in the shower, turn off the heating in unused rooms – all these recipes are known, and it’s good if the risk of earning salmonellosis, scab, getting fungus and mold in the neighbors pays off in money, but not a fact – in the same Federal The network agency warns that at the end of the year, the amounts in payments will be an unpleasant surprise for tenants, and there are 58% of them in Germany, and for homeowners who will be forced to centrally reduce the temperature in the rooms in the second half of winter, regardless of the desire of the tenants.
It’s almost inevitable, but Bloomberg is preparing its readers for what could be much worse: “In the worst-case scenario, when the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany is completely shut down, Europe will not be able to meet the level of stocks prescribed by the European Union, by the beginning of the heating season in November, and by January the reserves in the region may run out completely.”
In this case, the price of gas, especially for industry, will be simply prohibitive, and inflation will be double-digit. For the third month in a row in Germany, it repeats the records of more and more ancient crises: now – 7.9% – this is 1974. On the news about the reduction in transit, the price of gas jumped from $900 to $1,350 per thousand cubic meters. And this despite the fact that last week the market did not have time to win back the news that on the 21st of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline gets up for scheduled maintenance. So far for a week, and there – as it goes – iron does not last forever. The problem for the EU is aggravated by the fact that, to put it mildly, not everything is in order with alternative suppliers, it seems that they do not carry out major repairs on time.
A fire at a gas liquefaction plant in the American city of Freeport, according to preliminary calculations, is a minus of five billion cubic meters in the energy balance of Europe. The export terminal, which provides a quarter of all US LNG supplies to the European market, has been disabled for three months.
Qatari gas supplies have not yet begun, and it is not clear when this will happen – the preliminary agreement between Berlin and Doha, apparently, will not move into the field of practical implementation until the Europeans satisfy Qatar’s wish for a 20-year contract, which in no way fits in with the environmental goals of the German government. It remains to scrape a cubic meter here and there.
“I am grateful that we are now discussing this amazing project, that you are ready to increase gas supplies to the European Union through Egypt,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
The President of the European Commission traveled to Israel this week – there is gas under the Promised Land that can be sent to Europe, but not immediately – for this it is necessary to build a pipeline to Egyptian LNG terminals. But there is also little fuel: explored reserves are about 650 billion cubic meters, the region is politically unstable. Summing up all the efforts of European figures to find an adequate replacement for Russian gas, the Die Welt newspaper comes to a disappointing conclusion: “Germany has the largest natural gas storage facilities in Europe. However, the filling level of these underground reservoirs can be brought to the required level of 90% by November 1 only by deliveries Russian pipelines.
In principle, the problem is solved by pressing one button, but not the one, but the other, which launches Nord Stream 2. The turbines there are completely new and not imported, but our Ladoga. But they are not yet ready to take such a radical step, violating the regime of their own sanctions – they are now calling Canada every day with a half-request, half-demand: give the turbine.
However, even if the Germans persuade the Canadians, there will still be huge image losses, because this is also a circumvention of sanctions. It turns out that each of them simply has its own price tag. Left without gas or left without a face – Europe clearly chooses the latter.