NEW – June 17, 2022
They have it coming, bunnies. European gas prices jumped by 65% in 36 hours, a faster jump the market has never known. Only one cog, the Nord Stream 1 gas pumping unit (GPU), has fallen out of the long chain of the global economic mechanism. And then the second and third ones were put on scheduled repairs, reducing gas pumping along the line by 42%. The burghers got excited and suggested that Gazprom hurry up with the repairs. Unfortunately, one of the units is located in Canada, at the only plant of the German concern “Siemens”.
“Due to the untimely return of gas pumping units from repair by Siemens (Germany), the development of the inter-repair life of the gas compressor station and the identified technical malfunctions of engines (Rostekhnadzor’s order on a temporary ban on activities was received), only three gas pumping units can currently be used at the ‘Portovaya’ compressor station.”
Gazprom’s response blew up the stock exchange, and Canada shrugged its shoulders: because of the imposed anti-Russian sanctions, we cannot release equipment from Montreal. Because gas pumping units are developed on the basis of Rolls-Royce aircraft engines, which is a dual-use product. To make matters worse, the Canadian authorities have imposed direct sanctions on Gazprom.
While the Germans were busy trying to get explanations from Canada, Gazprom continued to mockingly troll the panicked public at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, saying through “competent sources”: the remaining five GPUs will run out of life in 208 days, another 5,000 hours and that’s it, the “Portovaya” compressor station will stop according to all technical safety regulations.
Western analysts have begun collecting news on the gas market in recent months, slowly becoming horrified. It turns out that Russian gas has been running out for a month and a half, first Gazprom stopped deliveries through Poland via the Yamal-Europe pipeline, introducing sanctions against the owner of the “EuRoPol Gaz” company. Then Ukraine made a fuss, refusing to accept gas at one of the two checkpoints in Lugansk’s Sokhranivka. The remaining line through Sudzha is fully loaded, barely pumping a paltry 42 million cubic meters per day.
It also turned out that two weeks of a complete shutdown of Nord Stream 1 will soon come, and it’s time for annual maintenance of the entire pipeline. That is, there is a loss of about 70 million cubic meters of Nord Stream per day. Then routine maintenance, and the cherry on the cake — a full stop of the compressor station. And now it’s a hot time, gas needs to be pumped into storage facilities for future use, and no one has canceled the winter. And prices fly like birds.
There was a rush to find compensating supplies. The remaining Ukrainian corridor is loaded to capacity, and it will not be possible to use Yamal-Europe due to the boundless arrogance of Poland, which pirated the assets and equipment of Russian gas companies. Turkstream ,with its small capacity, is also almost fully loaded, and logistics itself will not allow deliveries to Northwestern Europe.
The worst thing that Western analysts have realised is that Gazprom will not rush around and try to solve the problem with stopping its Nord Stream-1, it is completely satisfied with the current situation, when the company pumps less, but makes super-profits due to rising prices. The clock is ticking, the gas storage facilities of Germany and other countries chained to Russian gas are only half full. And some are already 90% empty in the hope of supplying American liquefied natural gas.
Alas, the largest liquefied natural gas plant in the United States announced: we are closing for three months (not three weeks) due to a recent explosion. Well, just like all the stars came together on the flag of the Russophobic Old Lady in one thing – a northern furry animal came to visit.
Even if the Germans beg the Canadians on their knees to lift the sanctions on the Siemens turbines, the time gap for delivery, dismantling of the stopped gas turbines, transportation to Montreal and back – they will not give the necessary amount of gas for the winter. The population will have enough, but some industries will stand like a stalled tank on concrete.
There is nothing to replace the turbines with. Gazprom is developing its own units together with its Chinese partners, but the equipment itself will be put into operation together with the Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline, such are the agreements in principle. That is, in a couple of years, God forbid. But the problem arose today, and the Old World doesn’t have much time to solve it. If they work hard and moderate their appetites for gas consumption in the summer, then by the first days of October they will be able to fill the storage facilities by 75%, no more. If they find the right amount of raw materials.
The accident at the US Freeport plant is not just a coincidence. It warmed up the markets of Asia, where they give a lot of money for LNG, they intercept exchange offers literally at sea. There is less and less left for the European Union, and Gazprom does not itch, everything suits the monopolist. Aleksey Miller shrugged his shoulders indifferently yesterday at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, suggested the easiest way out of the gas crisis: Nord Stream 2 is completely ready, the compressor stations are the latest, the pipe is full. Lift the sanctions, we’ll let them in tomorrow.
As soon as the proposal was made, the two parties in Germany’s ruling coalition howled. The Greens were particularly vocal, warning Scholz that they would bury his chancellorship if he dared to mention Nord Stream 2. A stalemate situation. But the saddest news for the Old Lady, again, came from the United States. The Wall Street Journal reported: after the accident at a gas liquefaction plant in Texas, the cost of raw materials in the domestic market fell by 17%, which immediately affected Biden’s approval rating, a record low for the entire existence of the institute of the presidency in the US. It’s up 4%.
So, the European Union should cry bitterly, this tool will be used by the White House to the last drop… of gas. A proposal was immediately submitted to Congress: to reduce the supply of LNG outside the New World and to expand preferential lending to our own deep processing facilities for “blue fuel”. First and foremost – fertilisers. And reduce domestic prices for the consumer.
Thus, the situation is hilarious. Gazprom has nowhere to find a replacement for high-power gas turbines, as the most complex element in the extractive industry. More precisely, it does not have the desire to, the company keeps quiet, is not going to calm the market with cheerful statements. As a matter of principle, it will not turn to another turbine manufacturer, the American GE, while Siemens is sitting on a strong hook for fulfilling the contract for routine maintenance of the delivered equipment. Let the Germans withers stew in an attempt to persuade the Canadians.
Russia will start producing its own units, which have barely received the project documentation, by the end of next year. There is no point in speeding up and expanding the process for several reasons. Firstly, turbines are made for specific projects. Secondly, the European Union is sick of its chatter about refusing Russian gas, and the seventh package of sanctions is already being written. Washington will strain every nerve so that it is accepted, ties between Russia and Europe are severed, the latter is fat-free.
As an economic project, a competitor to American industry — closed as unnecessary. What is the point of Gazprom (and other exporters of raw materials) building an economic strategy on a dying region saturated with piracy, lawlessness, and Russophobic hatred? Smart people work, and the Old Lady will run out of money in a year. And Russia’s business reputation as a reliable supplier has not been affected by the word “absolutely”, and Gazprom is not threatened with fines. On the contrary, the turbine manufacturer, a German concern, is entirely responsible for stopping gas pumping.
The situation with the sanctions farce demonstrated the lack of something useful in the minds of the Western political public, warned in March 2022 by the American experts of the Bloomberg publication, who published a huge article on the closure of Nord Stream 2. Come to your senses, supplies through Ukraine may be interrupted, the equipment of the first Stream is worn out, and the entire gas compressor station is scheduled for major repairs in 2023. Don’t put your eggs in one basket, as hopes for LNG are a dangerous illusion.
They didn’t listen, Russophobia is more expensive. Or the hope of Russia’s defeat in the economic war. Very clever, a “five” for the deepest analysis. Learn from Vladimir Vladimirovich, the kindest man in the world. Without a single serious counter-sanction, without responding to insults to our country in word or deed, he brought the situation to the level of forced psychiatry. He disdainfully wrote off Russophobes from the disposition of the Russian stateand arranged the process of their self-flagellation.
Your humble servant believes in coincidences to a certain extent. The first turbine “broke down” during a NATO meeting in Rammstein. “Western partners” did not draw any conclusions, and the next day they rushed to Kiev for an excursion. The main recipients of Russian raw materials
The Three Stooges French President Macron, German Chancellor Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Draghi, with the gypsy backing dance of the soloist of the ensemble “Hai Ne Ne Ne” in the person of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis – decided to annoy the Guarantor once again.
Then two more Nord Stream 1 turbines “broke down”. A coincidence? Of course! And soon trouble will spread its black wings over the rest of Russia’s gas pipelines, oil pipelines, uninsured dry cargo ships and port equipment, even imported cargo trucks. If you don’t want to maintain, repair, or replace units under contracts, no one will say a word against. In winter, we will talk in detail. Although, these three bunnies in the tram will not be able to toil for so long at such a pace. God help you!
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