Russia is burning gas at an excessive rate on Finland’s border, as European nations scramble to shore up supplies amid cuts from Moscow, reports gCaptain.
Natural gas emissions
A Russian state-owned natural gas compressor station operated by Gazprom has had been emitting huge flames for weeks, with some reports noting that satellite images have been detecting the flames since June.
Gazprom could not be immediately reached for comment on whether the “flaring” is due to an error at the plant.
However, according to analysts from the Norway energy consulting group Rystad, the amount of gas being burned into the atmosphere is equivalent roughly 0.5% of the European Union’s needs, reported Reuters.
Officials reportedly said that while some burning or “flaring” is normal during oil and gas production, the level of excessive burning at the Russian compressor station is not only wasteful, but environmentally dangerous.
The news comes as European nations are scrambling to secure energy stockpiles for the upcoming winter months as countries worldwide attempt to tackle the climate crisis.
Gazprom has already said it will shut off gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline next week from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 for “routine maintenance.”
The closure comes just one month after the energy company restored natural gas to just a fifth of the pipeline’s capacity following a separate maintenance closure.
Decline in gazprom exports
European nations have accused Russia of playing politics when it comes to natural gas supplies amid its war in Ukraine, and the EU has said it will sever its dependence on Russian oil by cutting 90% of it imports by the end of the year.
Gazprom’s exports to nations outside Russia have reportedly declined by over 36% since the beginning of the year and output has dropped by 13%. However, officials in Europe are worried about how the excessive flaring will affect ice caps in the North Pole.
“The flaring flame is highly visible, perhaps indicating that gas is ready and waiting to flow to Europe if friendly political relations resume,” Rystad told Reuters. “The flaring is an environmental disaster with around 9,000 tonnes of CO2 being emitted daily.”
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