Against the backdrop of a reduction in gas supplies from Russia, the German authorities announced the second stage of the emergency plan. About it declared in Berlin on June 23, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck.
“From now on, gas in Germany becomes a scarce product. The market is able to provide applications for consumption and a moderate replenishment of reserves, but this should not give us a false sense of security,” – declared he.
The first stage of the emergency plan – the early warning regime – was announced at the end of March in connection with Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.
The second level of alarm mode is activated when there is an interruption in gas supply or an extremely high demand for gas. At the same time, at this stage, it is assumed that the market is able to cope with these problems on its own, without taking measures of a non-market nature. For example, when gas suppliers get the right to pass on sharply rising prices directly to consumers.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Germany must cut gas consumption and increase the amount of energy produced by coal-fired power plants in order to fill gas storage facilities by winter. Now they are a little more than half full.
In addition, the German authorities are considering the possibility of reducing the cost of heating residential buildings, developing a gas auction model, allocating an additional 15 billion for the purchase of gas, and also propose to review the ban on fracking.
According to the minister, the deterioration of the situation on the gas market and the jump in prices are Vladimir Putin’s strategy, designed to divide the European Union.
How writes The Financial Times, citing sources in the German government, under the pretext of summer maintenance of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, Gazprom may completely stop gas supplies to Germany. Such a situation, according to the interlocutors of the publication, can provoke an energy crisis in the country in winter.
Despite the fact that this is a regular technical procedure, and earlier, Gazprom compensated for Nord Stream’s downtime during repairs by increasing supplies through other pipelines, until the Russian concern reserves free capacities and increases pumping through Ukraine.
The reduction in supplies to Germany via Nord Stream, the volume of which is estimated at 50-60 percent on average, was announced by Gazprom in mid-June. The decrease in exports in the Russian company was explained by problems with the turbines for pumping gas from the Siemens concern, which, due to sanctions, cannot be taken away after repair from a plant in Canada.
In Berlin, they consider the decision political and talk about pressure on the EU.
Russia has been gradually cutting gas supplies to the EU for a year now, but this week they fell to a level not seen in decades – about 100 million cubic meters per day. Back in May, Gazprom supplied 250 million a day, and three years ago – 500 million.