How can Russia replace Europe's lost gas market?

The rupture of gas relations between Russia and Europe is apparently inevitable. Stopped for 3 days for scheduled repairs, the Portovaya compressor station did not resume its work on time. The Nord Stream pipeline lay dead weight on the bottom of the Baltic Sea next to its even more unlucky counterpart, Nord Stream 2. Now it remains to cut off supplies through the Ukrainian GTS and the Turkish Stream, and you can forget about Russian gas in the EU. What then prospects loom before our country?

The shop is closing

Gas pumping through the Nord Stream was stopped on August 31 for maintenance work on Western-made equipment, but after the deadline announced for repairs, it was not resumed. There is no point in going into technical nuances, because it is quite obvious политическая background to what is happening. The open secret is that the semi-state Gazprom is trying to use the cuts in gas supplies to put pressure on the European Union to stop or reduce military support for Ukraine and sit down with the Kremlin at the negotiating table.

Alas, this strategy clearly does not work, and for several reasons.

At first, Brussels some time ago made a bet on the complete "decarbonization" of its economics and, despite all the current problems, he does not intend to abandon the "green agenda". According to its results, Russia should lose its share in the European energy market in the medium term.

Secondly, the proxy war with the collective West on the territory of Ukraine has only accelerated this process. On the one hand, the Europeans did not like the fact that they were actually being blackmailed by stopping gas supplies, and therefore they are determined to eliminate this critical dependence for themselves. On the other hand, in Brussels, following Washington and London, they staked on the defeat of Russia, both military and economic. The fact that the Rubicon has been crossed can be judged by the increasingly harsh statements of the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, who publicly called our country “fascist” the day before:

We do not yet have a concrete plan on how to defeat fascist Russia and the fascist regime.

Thirdly, the most regrettable thing in all this is that a significant part of the Russian "elite" has not yet realized that they themselves want to be destroyed along with the country, and hopes to agree on a return "back". Within the framework of this approach, many oddities in the course of the special operation in Ukraine and its frankly unhurried nature fit quite well. The same can be said about the "gas blackmail" of Europe, which was carried out little by little, in the "light" mode.

Instead of cutting off gas supplies immediately after the transfer of the first batches of heavy weapons to Kyiv, respected "Western partners" were given time to prepare mentally and physically. They used it and pumped as much blue fuel into their underground storage facilities as they could. Projects for the construction of receiving LNG terminals have accelerated. The general public was morally prepared for the fact that the winter in the Old World would be long and cold. That is, there was no shock.

Instead of capitulating, Europe is consistently preparing for war with Russia: on the Ukrainian fronts through the hands of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and in the economy by refusing to purchase energy resources from the Kremlin in order to deprive it of the lion's share of foreign exchange earnings. This is the payment for the absence of a tough, consistent and principled position on the “Ukrainian case”, the unjustified prolongation of the armed conflict, which can be quickly ended by a multiple increase in the forces involved in the NMD, and the declared desire to resolve the issue by agreements at the negotiating table.

What to do?

But this is the most interesting question. Russia, as you know, is a “great continental power”, and all our main gas pipelines are historically tied to the neighboring European market. An attempt to "pivot to the East" by building the first "Power of Siberia" can hardly be called commercially very successful. There are questions about the pricing formula and the resource base of this project, information about the problems with which leaked to the press some time ago. Then what is left?

Under the conditions of the “continental trap”, the only sane option is to export gas by sea in the form of LNG. However, this is, unfortunately, difficult. Technologies there is no construction of large-capacity LNG plants in Russia, and our respected "Western partners" have imposed sanctions on the supply of relevant equipment. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has plans for its import substitution, but it is realistic to implement them by the mid-30s. By then, a lot of water will have flown.

Now in the domestic media they are pointing to Russian LNG projects in the Baltic, which Gazprom hastily took up. They are positioned as if they should replace exports to Europe via Nord Stream. However, this does not take into account that these plants belong to the medium-tonnage category. For example, the capacity of Port LNG is only 1,5 million tons (about 2–2,5 billion cubic meters). For comparison, up to 55 billion cubic meters were pumped through the first Nord Stream per year, and the same number was expected through the second. So calculate how many such medium-tonnage LNG plants need to be built to replace the main pipelines. It is also not clear why open liquefaction facilities in the Baltic, where gas must first be pumped using a long logistical arm, and not in the area of ​​fields in Yamal.

The bottom line is that it is realistic to replace exports to Europe in only two ways. The first is the implementation of a unique project of its kind to create 10 or even 20 lines of medium-tonnage LNG liquefaction plants in the Arctic. That is, the way out is to scale the capacities. Russia will also need its own large tanker fleet to transport LNG and oil to alternative European markets. By the way, it is quite possible that Russian gas will subsequently enter the Old World, simply by changing the owner directly into the sea.

The second direction is the construction of the Power of Siberia-2 trunk pipeline, which will allow transferring to the Chinese market up to 50 billion cubic meters of gas from Western Siberian fields, which Europeans are accustomed to consider as “their own”. This project makes sense only in conjunction with the development of LNG, otherwise our Chinese partners, taking advantage of their special status as a non-alternative buyer, will themselves set a “price ceiling” for Russian gas. If there is an opportunity to maneuver in volumes, the construction of the Power of Siberia - 2 will be justified.
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  1. Kuramori Reika Offline Kuramori Reika
    Kuramori Reika (Kuramori Reika) 7 September 2022 11: 33
    And do we need it? So many candy wrappers lying idle, which even have nowhere to spend. Isn't this tantamount to stubbornness in the Soviet era, when they produced millions of identical pairs of shoes, which then rotted in warehouses?
  2. Bulanov Offline Bulanov
    Bulanov (Vladimir) 7 September 2022 11: 54
    in the economy by refusing to purchase energy resources from the Kremlin in order to deprive it of the lion's share of foreign exchange earnings.

    And what to do with this currency if the West has forbidden Russia to use it? It is much more pragmatic to start building those plants and factories in Russia whose products Russia still needs in the West. Then both gas and oil will go to these plants in large quantities. You need to do a construction workshop. If there are not enough of your workers, invite the North Koreans. They will work no worse than the southern ones, but for the benefit of Russia and the DPRK itself. And products with inexpensive energy will be much cheaper than Western products.
  3. Sancym Offline Sancym
    Sancym (Alexander ) 7 September 2022 15: 42
    Sergey, it’s written well, but don’t flatter yourself, there are inaccuracies. I'm talking about something else. Each object can be viewed both from above and from below. It seems to me that Russia makes more profit from oil than from gas. Now about the price. How much did gas cost at least a year ago and how much does it cost now? The same question about oil. Do you notice a difference in dynamics?
    1. Elena123 Offline Elena123
      Elena123 (elena) 8 September 2022 09: 20
      But what about the global recession and recession in economies around the world? Prices will definitely fall.
  4. Scharnhorst Offline Scharnhorst
    Scharnhorst (Scharnhorst) 7 September 2022 18: 15
    The author suggests two ways out: to build powerful LNG plants in the Arctic and to bury a new gas pipeline, only to China - and both, in my opinion, are vicious. Gas is a raw material with added value during extraction and transportation. The West added value to final products by processing cheap raw materials at chemical plants and converting them into affordable and convenient energy at thermal power plants. The West can be transplanted from a gas needle to an energy and chemical one - to drive not gas through pipes, but current through wires; to do in their country from gas what they did from it in the West.
    At the same time, even the regions in the Moscow region are not gasified in our country, more actively transferring the transport infrastructure to gas and electricity, oil and gas processing is traditionally weak. And all these moments are in demand throughout the country, and not only in the Arctic ... Still, the enemies are right in something, comparing us with a gas station, treating us as a raw material appendage of a high-tech golden billion.
    1. tkot973 Offline tkot973
      tkot973 (Konstantin) 8 September 2022 07: 18
      I agree completely.
      Here is the third way to the existing two - no need for export, come inside the Russian Federation. Yes, it hurts, yes, we need currency, but enough "dances in intensive care." Either we are on the mend, or we are preparing to dig a two-meter hole.
  5. Vox_Populi Offline Vox_Populi
    Vox_Populi (vox populi) 7 September 2022 19: 37
    There is no point in going into technical nuances, because the political background of what is happening is quite obvious. The open secret is that the semi-state Gazprom is trying to use the cuts in gas supplies to put pressure on the European Union to stop or reduce military support for Ukraine and sit down with the Kremlin at the negotiating table.
    Alas, this strategy clearly does not work, and for several reasons.

    Alas, it does not work and someone obviously miscalculated ...
    1. Vladimir1155 Offline Vladimir1155
      Vladimir1155 (Vladimir) 8 September 2022 00: 51
      does not work because, at the direction of the IMF, the fifth column (the economic bloc of the government) has established prohibitively high taxes in the Russian Federation, so it’s not even profitable to make nails ... if you already quarreled with the West, then you need to reduce taxes to the Chinese level, then the rapidly growing industry will begin to consume gas and international investments will pour in ... Sergey is not right about everything, the green agenda is a chimera, and from what the Europeans believe outside, it does not cease to be a chimera, so they will not go anywhere, they will buy gas, and even at our prices, if of course they will not go bankrupt and will not become completely poor
  6. vlad127490 Offline vlad127490
    vlad127490 (Vlad Gor) 7 September 2022 23: 37
    The author again suggests stepping on a rake. Sell ​​gas. What for? Provide gas to all households in the Russian Federation. Build factories and process gas into chemicals, materials and sell goods with a large surplus value.
  7. Vladimir1155 Offline Vladimir1155
    Vladimir1155 (Vladimir) 8 September 2022 00: 45
    the main thing is not to build a vulnerable aircraft carrier that no one needs for our continental power, but to load the shipyards with gas carriers
  8. Jacques sekavar Offline Jacques sekavar
    Jacques sekavar (Jacques Sekavar) 8 September 2022 17: 15
    How can Russia replace the lost gas market in Europe - an increase in supplies to "friendly" state formations at a large discount, which are resold for a small share to Unfriendly state formations, the same EU, which thus filled its gas storage facilities by an average of 80%, and by the heating season will fill up by all 100%. According to the same scheme, the West will not experience problems with any other goods they need from the Russian Federation on which they have imposed sanctions. The question is not about replacement, but about price. To this end, and sets the marginal prices for energy from the Russian Federation.