……..Europe gets 40% of its gas from Russia

Russia has said that it is ready to cut off natural gas supplies to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Russian deputy prime minister, Alexander Novak said yesterday that although a decision on that has not been made, Russia would not think about the action if it has to.

“In connection with unfounded accusations against Russia regarding the energy crisis in Europe and the imposition of a ban on Nord Stream 2, we have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline,” Novak said.

The deputy prime minister, who spoke in state television broadcast, added that “so far, we are not taking such a decision.”

Oilprice.com reported yesterday that Russia has long maintained that it was not using natural gas as a weapon, but that hasn’t stopped the United States and others from warning Europe that being beholden to Russia for a significant share of its natural gas supplies could allow Russia to weaponize the flow of that gas.

The report said however it would appear that today, those warnings seem well-founded, even though Russia has yet to make good on its new threat.

U.S. lawmakers have long maintained that Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline—which is now complete but not flowing gas—would further put Europe in Russia’s grip with energy security. Germany, already reliant on Russia for much of its natural gas needs, ruled last October that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline posed no security-of-supply threat.

But Germany itself asked the economy ministry to withdraw a binding opinion stating that it posed no threat, so the country could shelve the pipeline after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Europe gets 40% of its natural gas supply from Russia. If Russia does cut off the flow of Nord Stream 1, natural gas prices in Europe will climb even higher. Natural gas prices are already at a record high, up 42% from Friday’s close to $293 per MwH on Monday.

OER published last week that as part of the fallouts of the Russian Ukraine conflict, Germany had announced plans to build two liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals that would make the country less dependent on Russian gas.

The European Union as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO’s) sanctions against Russia, including shutting out the Country’s central bank, has affected European countries from doing business with Russia.

The announcement for the building of new LNG terminals was made yesterday by the German Chancellor, Mr. Olaf Scholz, at a special session of the Bundestag where he addressed German nationals on the implications of the ongoing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. There are currently several liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Europe, but none of them are located in Germany. The German Chancellor said the LNG terminals would be located in Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven.

By Chidi Ekpewerechi

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