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Germany depends on Russia for its gas supply, and the current government must negotiate more supplies with Moscow, the co-chairman of the country's Greens told media, as quoted by TASS.
According to Robert Habeck, however, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline cannot be approved because of the EU Gas Directive.
"We depend on Russia and it restricts gas supplies," Habeck told TV channel ARD in an interview. "[Gas] storage facilities [in Germany] are not full but the demand is high. The current German government must waste no time and speak with Russia to change this situation."
"It looks like Russia is playing a kind of poker with us. But this is a matter of foreign policy, which the German government can at least discuss," the politician also said.
Germany's most likely future chancellor, Olaf Scholtz, has said that the approval of Nord Stream 2 is a question of "absolutely formal processes."
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been completed and is currently awaiting the approval of German energy regulatory authorities before gas starts flowing. There has been talk in the EU that Russia was deliberately withholding additional gas supplies in order to push Germany to approve the pipeline. According to Russian PM Alexander Novak, however, additional gas supplies need talks and contracts.
In an interview with a Russian news outlet, Novak said, in response to a question regarding European accusations of Russia not delivering more gas, "What does it mean we could have delivered more? Deliver it where, to Grandpa in the country? There must be the respective orders and contracts."
Interestingly, Novak also said there is no actual gas shortage in Europe despite lower than normal storage facility fill rates. This was echoed by German energy minister Peter Almeier, who said that gas storage in the country was 75 percent full and that Germany was not dependent on Russia for its gas supply.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.
However, because the EU misjudged the gas market and delayed filling its gas stores, it wanted to shift the blame from itself to Russia.
Gazprom has fulfilled its contractual obligations to the EU and no one in Europe is disputing that. In fact Gazprom’s exports to the EU rose by 23% between January and July this year. These figures prove the absurdity of accusing Gazprom of supply shortage. If the EU misjudged the gas market and didn’t order more Russian gas, it can’t blame Gazprom for its misjudgement.
The EU is using delaying tactics to delay the start of operation by Nord Stream 2.
The latest ploy is that 42 EU lawmakers of the European Parliament who are most probably representatives of Polish and Baltic States want to have Gazprom investigated for alleged manipulation of the soaring gas prices in the EU. However, they have no leg to stand on in their accusation. Gazprom has fulfilled all is contractual obligations.
Another ploy to impede Nord Stream 2 activation is the EU Secretariat’s invoking the European unbundling legislation. According to European law, the producer and system operator cannot be the same legal entity for more than 50% of the transport capacity. The pipeline’s capacity can only be fully used when another producer is allowed to use Nord Stream 2.
However, there is a simple and viable solution to the European unbundling legislation. Russian oil giant Rosneft in which BP has 17% stake has applied for permission to use the remaining 50% capacity and export natural gas to the EU through Russia’s pipeline system.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
More gas than before over Nordstream II still only in testing phase not needed most gas from norway about 50% and LNG Rotterdam much more awaited from mediterian sea countries and own fracking gas opport unities, lignite coal for 300 years and energy crisis only if FRG nuclear and coal power turned off.