August 8, 2022

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Will Putin permanently close the gas tap on Monday?  Six questions

Will Putin permanently close the gas tap on Monday? Six questions

1. What will happen next week?

From Monday 11 July to Thursday 21 July, maintenance of Nord Stream 1, the pipeline through which gas flows from Russia to Germany is scheduled. This is regular maintenance, says energy analyst Gil van den Boeckel of the research center HCSS. “Everything is checked and tested as standard. This happens in the summer, just as in previous years, not in the winter, when more gas is used logically.”

2. What is the government afraid of?

Well, the Russians are going to play a political game by announcing, for example, that a technical glitch was discovered during this interview. While they are actually turning off the gas tap themselves.

“I am concerned that the Russians will not send gas shipments to Germany after July 21,” Climate and Energy Minister Rob Getten told RTL Nieuws on Friday. “It doesn’t mean any severe problems, but it does make it very complicated to adequately fill the gas storages.”

This fear is fueled by Germany, which relies on Nord Stream 1 for gas supplies, and Gettin’s German colleague Robert Habeck called the gas supply cut last month an “economic attack on us by Putin.”

Germany turned into. On June 23 Next warning stage In the gas contingency plan. This means that Germans have to reduce their gas consumption.

3. But Putin also depends on gas income, right?

Yes, of course. However, the Russian government increasingly sees gas supplies as a political tool, says historian Hubert Smits. Especially now that Western countries are imposing sanctions after another against the Russians.

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Knowledge platform founder Ram said: “Russia uses the slogan: If it is subjected to Western boycotts and sanctions, we will not fulfill our gas obligations on the contrary. In other words: You do this, we will do it.” Russia reference.

4. Will this eventually lead to gas shortages with us?

The Netherlands is less dependent on Russian gas than Germany. But that certainly doesn’t mean we won’t notice it. “We’re very far from being physically short,” says energy expert Van den Bokel. But it’s a graduated scale: With less gas from Russia, you’ll have to contend with higher and higher gas prices — to the point where demand drops.

At that time, the law of the strongest applies to countries that buy gas: then the gas goes to whoever pays the highest price. Van den Beukel: “Who has the deepest money and is willing to pay more? We already see that poorer countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh no longer have access to petrol and diesel.”

5. What does this mean for my wallet?

Bad News. Gas has become more expensive than it already is. This can be very painful for families and businesses.

It could also get more exciting if we get the gas supply full enough for the winter. So the government is committed to increasing gas savings.

6. Is additional gas extraction in Groningen an option again?

Yes, this inevitable question arises again. But Energy Minister Cetin is still holding on to his post today.

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“We think we can continue to do this in the near future without ramping up production, but if Russian supplies stop completely, all countries will have to take more action. That starts with saving a lot of energy anyway.”