authorities in Germany It is trying to determine the cause of the sudden drop in pressure in the defunct Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which a spokesperson for its operator said could be a leak.
The pipeline has been one of the flashpoints in the escalating energy war between them Europe And Moscow since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, which hit Western economies and led to high gas prices.
The Nord Stream 2 operator said the pressure in the undersea pipeline dropped from 105 to 7 bars overnight.
The Russian-owned pipeline, which was intended to double the volume of gas flowing from Vyborg, Russia, under the Baltic Sea to Germany, had just been completed and filled with 300 million cubic meters of gas when German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced, canceled it Shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine.
European countries have resisted Russian calls to allow Nord Stream 2 to operate and have accused Moscow of using energy as a weapon. Russia He denies this and blames the West for the gas shortage.
We are now in contact with the relevant authorities to clarify the situation. “We are still not clear about the exact causes and facts,” a statement from the German Economy Ministry said.
The Swiss-based operator of the pipeline, which was legally terminated, said it had informed all relevant authorities and that the leak, if that was the cause, could not have been at the landing point in Lubmen, northern Germany. “If he had been in Lubmin, I would have heard him,” the spokesman said.
Gazprom referred questions related to the incident to the Nord Stream 2 operator.
Germany has reported the incident to the Danish authorities and they are trying to find out if a pressure drop occurred in German waters. Danish authorities required ships to stay away from a radius of five nautical miles off the island of Bornholm.
Russia cut off gas supplies to several countries and Flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea have stoppedAccusing Western sanctions of obstructing operations.
The suspected leak had no immediate impact on gas trading amid indications that Vladimir Putin’s efforts to disrupt Europe’s energy supplies this winter will fail.
The UK wholesale gas price for delivery this weekend is down nearly 24% to 160p in the heat on Monday, with Tuesday’s delivery price down 17% at 190p in the heat.
Prices have fallen in recent weeks as Europe made progress in filling storage facilities for this winter and intervened in the energy market to protect consumers.
The next day’s price has fallen sharply since the 589p temperature seen a month ago after Russia’s Gazprom started to The throttle flows through the main Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Asked about the potential Nord Stream 2 leak, Tom Marzik Manser, head of gas analytics at Independent Commodity Intelligence Services, said: “In terms of European supplies, no one in the market seriously believes it can become operational and a route into the Russian gas market, So it shouldn’t have an effect on price. It’s not a missing supply route – it’s a lost white elephant.”
Analysts said the decline in prices was due to a combination of factors, including progress in filling storage facilities. Prices have also fallen due to an increase in wind power generation and indications that routine annual maintenance of the Norwegian gas fields has been planned without the need for further outages.
“The fact that wind generation has started and that there is so much wind power across the continent has eased pressure on the amount of gas generation needed, especially given the issues with hydro and nuclear power,” said Marzek Mazer.
Mrzik-Masser said concerns remain about how to supply Europe next year when storage facilities are likely to be empty and Russian gas likely to be unavailable, unlike earlier this year when efforts to import more gas began.
The drop in wholesale gas prices should reduce the cost to the UK government in terms of its ceiling on energy bills. The government has Set a £2,500 limit on average household billsA policy that could cost more than £100 billion.