Russia incinerates large amounts of natural gas near the border with Finland, according to an analysis by Rystad Energy, about 4.34 million cubic meters per day, worth about 10 million dollars (around 10 million euros). The reason for the burning is formally unknown.
According to experts, the gas burned by the Russian power plant near Finland was originally intended for export to Germany.
The gas comes from the new liquefied natural gas terminal in Portovaya, northwest of St. Petersburg. The plant is located near the compressor station at the beginning of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, through which Russia supplies Germany with gas.
Experts who conducted the analysis obtained the first information about the Russian arson from Finnish citizens who live near the terminal on the other side of the border. They saw a great flame on the horizon at the beginning of summer. The researchers also noticed increased heat levels around the facility after June.
The burning of gas in such plants is a common practice for technical or safety reasons, but in this case the experts were mainly confused by its scale. “I’ve never seen a liquefied natural gas terminal burn like this before,” McCarty, a satellite data expert at Miami University in Ohio, told the BBC.
The Russian energy giant Gazprom, which owns the aforementioned energy facility, did not respond to the BBC’s inquiries regarding the alleged gas incineration.
Since Western countries imposed a number of sanctions against Russia after the start of the attack on Ukraine, Moscow has repeatedly cut gas supplies to Europe, which, despite many activities to diversify sources, remains heavily dependent on Russian supplies.
Gazprom reduced the supply of gas by 60 percent to 67 million cubic meters already in June, and attributed the reason for this to a broken turbine, which Siemens sent to Canada for repair. At the end of July, due to the repair of the second turbine, the capacity of gas supply via the North Stream was officially reduced to 20 percent.
Gazprom announced a week ago that at the end of August, it will stop the supply of gas through Nord Stream 1 again for a few days. This time, too, maintenance work was cited as the reason for the interruption.
Germany, meanwhile, says the supply cuts are purely politically motivated.