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Russia cuts off gas supplies to Germany for 3 DAYS of Nord Stream pipeline ‘maintenance’ amid Europe fears of power outages

Russia has suspended gas supplies to Germany for three days amid fears of power outages across Europe as energy prices soar.

Europe has accused Moscow of using energy as a “weapon” after supplies were cut off from Gazprom through the vital Nord Stream 1 pipeline, blaming maintenance needs.

The state-controlled energy giant Gazprom has cut off energy supplies to Germany

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The state-controlled energy giant Gazprom has cut off energy supplies to GermanyCredit: Reuters

The shutdown of gas shipments to Germany from the state-controlled energy giant began just before 6 a.m. today and will last until 1 a.m. on September 3.

Klaus Mueller, the director of Germany’s Federal Network Agency, made the decision, claiming Moscow “makes a political decision after every so-called maintenance”.

But Gazprom insists the work at a compression station is “necessary” and must be done “every 1,000 hours of operation”.

Russia says the German government is doing everything it can to destroy its energy relationship with Moscow, hours after Gazprom stopped supplying gas to Europe.

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At a press conference in Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said it was Germany, not the Kremlin, that was trying to completely break up energy relations between the two countries.

The company will also completely suspend gas deliveries to Engie, a French utility, citing a payment dispute, as of Thursday.

French Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said: “As we expected, Russia is using gas as a weapon of war and is using Engie’s way of applying contracts as an excuse to reduce it. more French supplies.”

It comes after satellite photos revealed Vladimir Putin is burning £8.4m of unused gas a day – while families face crippling rising energy bills.

Huge orange flames are seen shooting into the sky at a natural gas plant after Russia shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Europe.

A colored version of the satellite image shows infrared radiation from gas burning at the Portovaya plant in Russia

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A colored version of the satellite image shows infrared radiation from gas burning at the Portovaya plant in Russia
Locals spotted giant orange flares from across the border in Finland

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Locals spotted giant orange flares from across the border in FinlandCredit: East2West

International gas prices spiked after Russia invaded Ukraine, and spiked again after the country shut down an undersea pipeline.

Households across Europe face the possibility of power outages and energy rations, while today’s price ceiling in the UK has almost doubled.

Putin is accused of pressuring Europe to get revenge for its support of Ukraine and sanctions against the regime.

And now images from space show large-scale “outbreaks” of gas at Gazprom’s compressor plant in Portovaya, north of St Petersburg.

Locals across the border in Finland had previously noticed huge orange flames rising from the factory since late June.

The BBC reports that unused gas is normally exported to Germany but has been burned instead.

Analysts at Rystad Energy calculate about 4.34 million cubic meters of gas are being burned every day, worth $10 million.

“While the exact reason for the outbreak is unknown, the mass, emissions and location of the blaze are a stark reminder of Russia’s dominance in the world,” said research firm Sindre Knutsson. energy markets in Europe.

“There couldn’t be a clearer signal – Russia could lower energy prices tomorrow.

“This is gas that could have been exported via Nord Stream 1 or alternatives.”

A thermal imaging satellite detected a significant increase in heat radiating from the facility.

Fire exposure – intentionally burning off excess gas – is a common safety measure at processing plants, but the scale has stunned experts.

Dr Jessica McCarty, a satellite data expert from the University of Miami in Ohio, said: “I’ve never seen an LNG plant flare up so much.

“Starting around June, we saw this huge peak, and it hasn’t disappeared. It’s still at an unusually high level.”

State-controlled Gazprom did not comment on the outbreak.

They had previously stated that the pipeline was closed for technical reasons, but Germany said it was purely political.

Industry experts say gas fields cannot easily be shut down, and because the pipeline is closed there is nowhere to go and they have to burn it outdoors.

Others argue that Gazprom may have hoped to turn it into liquid natural gas – which can be stored – but is missing key equipment.

“Due to the trade embargo with Russia, they cannot make the high-quality valves needed in oil and gas processing,” said Esa Vakkilainen of Finland’s LUT University.

“So maybe there are some valves that are broken and they can’t replace them.”

Hold for ransom

Gasoline prices were already at pre-war Ukraine highs due to a spike in demand following the lifting of Covid restrictions.

But prices skyrocketed after the invasion because Russia is one of the world’s largest producers.

Continental Europe is heavily dependent on Russian gas imports, leading to concerns about winter blackouts, rations and plant closures in Germany.

Only a small fraction of British gas comes directly from Russia.

But the UK relies more on gas for electricity production than its European neighbors because it has less nuclear and renewable energy.

Britain also has little storage capacity, forcing energy companies to buy gas in the volatile short-term spot market.

Even the abundant gas in the North Sea is sold to Britain based on international market prices.

Ofgem confirmed today, October 1, domestic electricity and gas bills will rise to an average of £3,549 from October 1.

A staggering 80% increase will reach 24 million households.

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Energy bills have skyrocketed 35 times faster than wages, fueling inflation and a cost-of-living crisis.

Economists attribute most of the painful price spikes to the war in Ukraine and that Putin is holding the West for ransom.

Ari Laine photographed this giant flare from Finland, about 24 km from the Portovaya campus

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Ari Laine photographed this giant flare from Finland, about 24 km from the Portovaya campusCredit: Unknown, clear with picture desk
Russia is burning a huge amount of unused natural gas

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Russia is burning a huge amount of unused natural gasCredit: East2West

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