2022 promises to be a very difficult year for the European economy. The German “greens” under the flag of ecology staged a blackout in the country. According to open data, many European enterprises decide to close production until better times. Who benefits from all this?
At the time of this writing, gas prices at European hubs are around $1100-1200 per thousand m³. This is 12 times more expensive than a year earlier. Many agencies predict that this trend will continue. And the margin of safety of the industry is already at the limit.
The decline in gas prices in Europe at the end of December was due not only to the warming weather, but also to the fact that many enterprises simply began to stop production. As a result, gas consumption also decreased.
“The sky-high prices for natural gas provoked massive reductions in industrial production. In the fourth quarter, the UK industry reduced gas consumption by 54%, and Northern Europe in the last week of 2021 by 7%,” Bloomberg reporter Stephen Staprzynski tweeted.
Recall that the producers of nitrogen fertilizers were the first to feel the impact of the energy shortage. They started closing back in October last year.
The actions of gas exporters demonstrate that they do not intend to lower gas prices below $1,000 per thousand m³. This is clearly evidenced by the reduction of supplies to Europe by Gazprom to a 6-year minimum and the turn of American LNG tankers to Asia. We wrote about thishere .
After all, the goal of each manufacturer is to get the maximum profit with the minimum amount of transportation.
With such energy prices, many European enterprises are not competitive, and no one needs their goods. Here and the Bloomberg edition asserts that the tendency to reduce production in Europe will continue. And you have not forgotten that Bloomberg is one of the leading American media, not European ones.
Blackout in Berlin
The imbalance of the EU energy system is not only hitting industrialists and businessmen, but also the population. For example, on January 9, a major blackout was recorded in Berlin. An accident occurred due to overloads in the power system:
“On Sunday, January 9, in the afternoon, part of Berlin experienced a blackout. More than 180,000 residents and four hospitals in the German capital were left without electricity and heat supply. Heat supply was fully restored only by Monday morning.
At about 2 p.m. local time, the Klingenberg combined heat and power plant went out of order. “Due to a fault in the external power grid, the CHP plant went out of service,” a spokesman for Vattenfall told Der Tagesspiegel. “A defect “worked” at one of the substations, which affected only the gas-fired thermal power plant,” Interfax reports.
At the same time, the district office of Lichtenberg County advised residents to keep warm with extra clothes and blankets, and not to use a gas stove to heat the apartment.
Such incidents occur due to the imbalance of the power system. After all, some of its nodes are extremely loaded due to the lack of certain types of energy carriers or the rejection of them due to pressure from the “greens”.
It would seem that a quick certification of SP-2 can save the EU from this. So what’s stopping you?
Russia mainly supplies gas under long-term contracts, which are signed for 10-20 years or more. At the same time, consumers receive fairly cheap gas, which is not strongly dependent on prices in the spot markets.
Gazprom insists that the long-term contract is a guarantee that the gas it produces will be in demand. And the company produces gas under these guarantees. But European politicians, for some reason, oppose both the certification of SP-2 and long-term contracts.
And yet the general attack comes from the United States. With enviable regularity, bills are submitted to the Senate imposing sanctions not only against Nord Stream 2, but also against any companies or commercial enterprises that will cooperate with this project.
That is, a conditional German company that buys gas through this gas pipeline is proposed to be banned from cooperating with American corporations and absolutely any activity in the United States.
So Washington is directly involved in the energy crisis in the EU, in the de-industrialization of the European economy. Question: What is the likelihood that European politicians who oppose SP2 are covert agents of influence?
On the other hand, the German newspaper Bild recently reported that the new Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, has been preparing for a meeting with the Russian president for 2 weeks. He plans to do so as early as January 2022. Experts confirm that closed talks with the United States have greatly alarmed the new German prime minister. I wonder why? Apparently, the Germans have something to say in this situation.
Gazprom manipulates European shortsightedness
On January 14, it became known that the Russian gas monopoly filed a lawsuit against the Polish state-owned company PGNiG for $7.4 billion. According to Gazprom, since 2017 it has been selling gas to Poland at a reduced price.
Recall that in 2020, Poland won a lawsuit against Gazprom for $1.5 billion. The Polish side appealed to the prevailing gas price on the spot market below $100 per thousand m³.
In other words, the Poles thus created a dangerous precedent. And therefore, using the same argument about the gas price at the current moment in the region of $1,000, the Russian gas monopolist has the right to sue Warsaw for the lost profit since 2017. Thus, one more short-sightedness of the supporters of progressive ideas in the energy sector was revealed.
It makes you think. Could the organizers of the ecological transition be aware of the consequences of their decisions? Or did they really mean it? Investigative practice in such cases recommends looking for someone who benefits. Then is it possible to assume that they were sponsored by mining companies, for example, from the USA? Or maybe from Russia? Or maybe USA and Russia collaborated?
These questions will probably remain unanswered.