Russia is burning large amounts of natural gas in a huge orange flare near the Finnish border while cutting off supply to the European Union.
What happened: Analysts from a Norway-based energy consultancy Rystad estimated that the amount of gas wasted and burned in the atmosphere was equivalent to around 0.5% of the EU’s daily needs, while describing it as an environmental disaster.
“Exact levels of flaring volumes are difficult to quantify, but are believed to be around 4.34 million cubic meters per day. This equates to 1.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) on an annualized basis. and is equivalent to around 0.5% of EU gas demand needs,” the Rystad analyst noted.
See also: Putin gives nod to boost Russian army strength to over 2 million amid Ukraine setbacks
The orange flares are so huge they can be seen in satellite images of Portovaya – the site of a compressor station for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, Reuters reported.
Last month, Russia limited gas flows from Nord Stream 1 to just 20% of its capacity, pushing gas prices in Europe to a new high. The EU accused the Russian president Vladimir Poutine to use gas as a weapon to counter Western sanctions against Ukraine.
Earlier, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen “Russia is blackmailing us. Russia uses energy as a weapon. And so, in any case, whether it is a partial, major cut off of Russian gas or a total cut off of gas Russia, Europe must be ready.”
Meanwhile, UK energy bills are set to jump 80% to an average of 3,549 pounds ($4,188) a year from October, as Russia’s decision to limit European supplies makes push wholesale gas prices to record highs.
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