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Russia is flaring natural gas at the Portovaya plant near the Finnish border while drastically cutting gas flows via the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany, a Rystad Energy analysis shared with BBC News showed on Friday.
The plant northwest of St. Petersburg is flaring an estimated around $10 million worth of natural gas per day—gas that would have gone to Germany otherwise.
The Portovaya plant is near the compressor station of the same name where the Nord Stream route to Germany begins. Since June, Russia has significantly cut flows via Nord Stream, first to 40% of the pipeline's capacity and then to just 20% of Nord Stream capacity after a ten-day regular maintenance period ended on July 22.
At the same time, analysts, residents, and satellite imagery have detected and seen more heat from the Portovaya plant. Researchers tell the BBC they think the jump in heat coming out of the plant was the result of gas flaring.
"They don't have other places where they can sell their gas, so they have to burn it," Miguel Berger, the German ambassador to the UK, told BBC News, commenting on the possible reason for the significant increase in flaring.
According to Dr. Jessica McCarty, an expert on satellite data from Miami University in Ohio, "Starting around June, we saw this huge peak, and it just didn't go away. It's stayed very anomalously high," she told BBC News.
Meanwhile, gas prices in Europe hit fresh records this week after Russia's Gazprom said last week that it would halt all deliveries via Nord Stream to Germany for three days. The reason for the 3-day suspension of gas flows via the pipeline would be due to maintenance work at the Trent 60 gas compressor station, which would be carried out with Siemens, according to Gazprom.
This announcement raised renewed concerns in Europe that supply via the pipeline could be further cut or halted altogether after the three-day unplanned maintenance at the end of August.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.
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