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An explosion at a Gazprom gas pipeline in Russia raises supply concerns in the EU


The Russian emergency services attribute the huge deflagration, in which three people died, to an accident

The Urengoi-Pomary-Uzhhorod gas pipeline, a pipeline of a Gazprom subsidiary that crosses Ukraine and which is one of the only two routes for Russian gas to reach Europe from the Arctic after the sabotage of Nord Stream 1, has registered this Tuesday a disturbing explosion.

The deflagration, which has caused at least three deaths, occurred in Kalinino, in the Russian region of Chuvasia, in the center of the country.

Russian emergency services have attributed the huge explosion to an accident during maintenance and repair work on the pipeline, built in the 1980s, according to the Russian state agency Tass.

After the closure of Nord Stream, the Russian supply only reaches the Union via two routes: the tube that crosses the Ukraine and the one that crosses Turkey.

The Yamal gas pipeline, which runs through Poland, has been closed since May.

Hours later, when many eyes were already watching the energy markets with concern, a local subsidiary of the gas giant Gazprom, which operates the affected gas pipeline like all the others in the rest of Russia, reported that it was supplying the hydrocarbon to customers through of parallel pipes.

"The damaged section of the pipeline was quickly located," the company, whose full name is Gazprom Transgaz Nizhny Novgorod, said in a statement.

Despite the explosion, the operator of the Ukrainian gas pipeline system (which does not buy gas from Russia directly) confirmed that supply volumes remain unchanged and that the hydrocarbon entering from Russia has not registered major pressure changes, but continues to supply some 42.4 million cubic meters of gas.

The episode occurs when a large part of Ukraine, especially the center of the country, has serious power supply problems due to Russian attacks.

More than half of kyiv's citizens have no electricity, according to local authorities, after Monday's attacks on energy infrastructure.

The explosion, which has killed three workers, according to the governor of the Chuvashia region, Oleg Nikolayev, comes amid cuts in Russian gas supplies to Europe, which the Kremlin has been using as a weapon in its energy war. against the EU.

In addition, the incident occurred just one day after the Twenty-seven agreed to impose a price cap on gas sold in the reference wholesale market (the Dutch or TTF), in another of their initiatives to contain the soaring prices of the energy, and which is also part of his strategy to disengage from Russian gas on which many countries in the Union had been dependent until Putin launched the full-scale war in Ukraine.

After what happened in the gas pipeline, one of the oldest linking Russia and the EU countries, the gas futures prices in the TTF market increased by more than 6%, although they fell again hours later, after the communication from Gazprom that the gas was once again flowing along parallel routes.

Earlier, the gas company had said it expected to pump 43 million cubic meters of gas to Europe in the next 24 hours, through the gas pipeline that crosses Ukraine through Sudzha.

The announced volume of pumping is in line with that carried out in recent days.

Russia - increasingly affected by Western sanctions, which are increasingly felt in its economy, now erected as a fortress - is trying to find ways around the restrictions in order to keep its production and economy afloat.

In one such attempt, Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov announced on Tuesday his intention to cooperate with Iran in the production of gas turbine technology.

"There is great potential in this field," Shulginov said in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Ai Akbat Mehrabian, according to the Russian agency Interfax.

Reacting to the blaze, several Western companies such as Siemens, which had supplied Russia with turbines for its gas-fired power plants, have suspended their operations in Russia or withdrawn, according to various reports.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-12-21

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