One more pipe. Europe has found a “replacement” for Russian gas

MOSCOW, October 1 – Novosti, Irina Krasikova . In Europe, the pumping of gas through the new pipeline Baltic Pipe has begun. Norwegian blue fuel will be allowed through Denmark to Poland. Warsaw’s plans are Napoleonic – not only to provide for the domestic market, but also to resell the surplus to neighbors. Will it be possible to realize the desired – in the material of Novosti.

Finding an alternative

The Old World has been trying to get off the Russian “gas needle” for years. Baltic Pipe is the result of EU policy, said European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson.
The idea to build a pipeline originated 20 years ago. Then the Danish DONG and the Polish PGNiG agreed to create a consortium. However, the project was soon suspended due to economic inexpediency. In 2007, it was reanimated, but it was not possible to start work on a full scale: either Norway refused to increase production in the North Sea, or Danish environmentalists were against it. Therefore, the start of construction of the Baltic Pipe was officially announced only last spring.
The pipeline stretched from Norway to Poland through Denmark for almost 900 kilometers. About 275 of them pass through the Baltic Sea. The project is estimated at about 1.7 billion euros. More than half of the amount was provided by the Polish operator Gaz-System, the European Commission allocated about 267 million euros.
Baltic Pipe’s capacity is ten billion cubic meters of gas per year, but only 30-38 percent will be used at the initial stage. Thus, Warsaw intends to replace Russian gas.
At the end of April, Gazprom suspended exports to the republic due to non-payment in rubles. Previously, the country received up to ten billion cubic meters of fuel via the Yamal-Europe pipeline annually.
However, Warsaw resorted to a virtual reverse – a scheme in which Poland formally buys gas from France and Italy, but actually takes it from transit volumes.
Therefore, now the main thing for the Poles is to ensure their own energy security, analysts say. Due to the reduction in supplies from Russia to the EU, electricity tariffs are skyrocketing everywhere, and then the prices of goods. Poland is no exception: in September, annual inflation exceeded 17 percent, a record for the past 25 years.
In addition to Baltic Pipe, the country relies on coal. Despite the instructions of the European Commission to switch to green energy, the country continues to use “dirty” fuel.
Plus, they hope for a terminal in Swinoujscie, which can receive up to 7.5 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas.
By the end of 2022, Poland plans to increase pumping through the Baltic Pipe. And then completely become a new hub in Eastern Europe. “From here, this gas can go everywhere – wherever it is needed,” President Andrzej Duda said at the opening of the project.
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LNG terminal in Swinoujscie - Novosti, 1920, 09/30/2022
LNG terminal in Swinoujscie

The struggle for energy

Analysts are skeptical about the plans of the Poles: “The maximum capacity of the new gas pipeline is six times lower than the Nord Stream. Russia supplied the European Union with about 170-180 billion cubic meters of raw materials per year along five routes: Nord Stream, Turkish Stream, Ukrainian GTS , “Yamal-Europe”, OPAL. The commissioning of Baltic Pipe will not affect natural gas prices in Europe and world prices. But Poland, unlike other countries in the region, is better prepared for the energy crisis,” says Fyodor Sidorov, founder of the “School practical investment.
Energy security may turn Warsaw into disagreements with Germany, from which the Poles are taking away part of the Norwegian supplies.
The fact is that the resource source of Baltic Pipe is not a field, but the Europipe II main pipeline. Blue fuel has long been supplied through it from Scandinavia to Germany. In other words, Poland intervenes in the existing scheme and takes what the Germans should receive.
It should also be taken into account that production is not increasing. Old large deposits of hydrocarbons are depleted, new ones will only help to compensate for the falling volumes.
In addition, the recent emergency on the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 branches makes offshore pipeline facilities a high-risk one. “This will affect the insurance mechanism of the Baltic Pipe, a significant part of which runs along the bottom of the Baltic Sea,” said Ivan Petrov, First Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business at the Financial University.
About accidents on gas pipelines it became known on September 26. The Danish authorities were the first to report this. Then they found three holes.
Two days later, the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper claimed that the Swedish Coast Guard had located a fourth.
Location of a leak on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline
“The leaks are being investigated. There are initial reports that this may be the result of an attack or some kind of sabotage, sabotage, but these are initial reports,” said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. “If this is confirmed, then this is clearly not in anyone’s interests.”
Losses could reach 778 million cubic meters of blue fuel, according to the Danish Energy Agency. Bloomberg estimates that this is three days of German gas consumption.
Against this background, the struggle for energy resources will intensify in the EU, analysts warn. Europe risks being left without industry. First of all, metallurgy and fertilizer production are under attack.
However, enterprises in the Old World are already closing. For example, in Slovakia, the Slovalco aluminum plant, which supplies light metal throughout the region, has stopped production. Earlier, Dutch zinc giant Budel and Romanian Chimcomplex suspended work. In Germany, SKW Stickstoffwerke Piesteritz closes branches.
The resumption of gas exports via Nord Stream is impossible until the consequences of the accidents are eliminated, analysts emphasize. Repairs can take months or even years. As a result, the shortage of blue fuel will increase, and then quotes will soar – in the medium and long term.
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