Aug. 26 () –
A study of satellite images captured by the Norwegian company Rystad Energy points out that Russia could be flaring a possible daily surplus of around 4.3 million cubic meters of gas per day (about ten million euros) at a new liquefied gas facility near the border with Finland.
The images capture a huge flare that has also been spotted by Finnish residents on the border, active since July 11. Rystad Energy’s vice president for gas markets, Sindre Knutsson, estimates that Russia “would have already flared enough gas to supply 1.5 million European homes,” he told Sky News.
While experts do not rule out that this flaring is part of the test procedures at the Portovaya plant, they also believe that “the magnitude and duration of this continuous flaring period are extreme enough” to be mere tests.
This plant, which is located northwest of St. Petersburg and is scheduled to be commissioned this year, is close to a compressor station on the ‘Nord Stream 1’ pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany.
Supplies were cut off for 10 days in July while annual pipeline maintenance was carried out and, although it has since resumed, gas flow is running at one-fifth of capacity.
“We cannot know the exact reason for the flaring because we have had no communication from either Russia or (state-owned operator) Gazprom. Potential reasons there are many, but we don’t know what the exact one is,” Knutsson added.