Sudden Russian move confuses Germany over gas supply

The Russian company justified its decision in a statement on the Telegram app in response to Western sanctions imposed on Russia due to the war in Ukraine.

German Energy Minister Robert Habeck has accused Russia of using energy as a “weapon”, especially after Moscow imposed sanctions on 30 Western energy companies.

“The situation is getting worse because energy is now being used as a weapon in many ways,” Habek told a news conference.

German anticipation

Despite these criticisms from Moscow, Germany has already announced that it is making efforts to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

And last week it announced the leasing of 4 floating gas regasification and storage units to secure supply by importing LNG, rather than building new permanent plants which can take time.

The German Minister of the Economy estimated that the acquisition by his country of 4 floating storage units contributes to the diversification of its energy sources, and envisages the independence of Berlin in the face of “Russian blackmail”.

Gazprom facilities

Germany did not content itself with renting units, and sought to benefit from the facilities of “Gazprom” in Germany. The company last month announced its exit from Gazprom Germania and the Riden storage facility, following deteriorating relations between the two countries. .

Germany began filling the Riden storage facility on Thursday, and the official appointed to run the company, Egbert Lieg, said the facility had started taking in small amounts of gas, while the state continued to make deals to stock more supplies.

The Rieden storage facility has a storage capacity of 4 billion cubic meters, but only contains 0.6% of its capacity, a storage rate lower than the estimated German gas storage average of 36%.

job change

Berlin-based expert Zahi Allawi says that these steps will not be enough to do without Russian gas, as processing will take time and gas delivery will take longer than through Russian gas pipelines.

Allawi added to “Sky News Arabia” that the German moves, “their success depends on the extent to which alternatives are provided. Germany needs 55% to fill the gap if Russian gas is abandoned, and therefore on very large quantities of gas must be supplied from other countries, whether the Gulf States or the United States, which will not do so.It can only cover 15% of the needs of Europe and Germany. »

And he continues: “Qatar can save between 5 and 10%, but after a long period of investment in the gas field, I do not see that Germany will be able to do without Russian gas before the end of the next year”.

As for the change in the German position, which opposed the abandonment of Russian energy, says Allawi, the reason for this is the pressure Berlin has come under from Washington, London and the European Union, and the popular pressures that saw the need to help Ukraine.

gas storage

Germany has leased two units, of the four announced, to Greek ship supplier “Dyna Gas”, and according to estimates, the two units can offset 30% of Russian gas.

Berlin has chosen the port of Wilhelmshaven in the North Sea as its first processing centers, and the port of Brunsbüttel is preparing to join it. % of domestic demand.

The Ministries of Economy and Environment have confirmed that the storage capacity of the other three units reaches a minimum of 5 billion cubic meters per unit.

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