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Matt McGrath Fiddles, While Europe Gets Ready For Blackouts

August 30, 2022

By Paul Homewood


While the European public are being impoverished by sanctions on Russian gas, the idiot Matt McGrath is worried by carbon emissions.

You could not make it up!



As Europe’s energy costs skyrocket, Russia is burning off large amounts of natural gas, according to analysis shared with BBC News.

They say the plant, near the border with Finland, is burning an estimated $10m (£8.4m) worth of gas every day.

Experts say the gas would previously have been exported to Germany.

Germany’s ambassador to the UK told BBC News that Russia was burning the gas because "they couldn’t sell it elsewhere".

Scientists are concerned about the large volumes of carbon dioxide and soot it is creating, which could exacerbate the melting of Arctic ice.

The analysis by Rystad Energy indicates that around 4.34 million cubic metres of gas are being burned by the flare every day.

It is coming from a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at Portovaya, north-west of St Petersburg.

  1. W Flood permalink
    August 30, 2022 10:05 pm

    As I recall, the article told us that methane was very powerful ghg and then felt it should mention that the burning produced carbon dioxide. Dreadful piece of writing.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 30, 2022 10:18 pm

      Flaring is inefficient and releases methane as well as CO2.

  2. Lorde Late permalink
    August 30, 2022 10:25 pm

    Just tell the Russians to stop it!
    I’m sure mr Putin would be concerned for his grandchildren if he knew about it.

  3. August 30, 2022 10:29 pm

    The Arctic has its own sources of methane for the BBC climate alarm club to obsess about.

  4. Derek Wood permalink
    August 30, 2022 10:32 pm

    Funny thing, I’ve had a gas cooker forever, I have never known the burning gas to produce soot. Of course I’ve carbonated a few meals in that time, but no-one’s perfect!

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 31, 2022 3:56 am

      Flares do produce an element of black soot that is visible in photographs. Sooting is well controlled in a cooker burner because it is designed to ensure that the flame is seated on the burner for the molecular weight, average calorific value and pressure range of operation, operating in a windless kitchen. With flaring those can be big variables, and the flare may not be capable of adjusting to ensure more complete combustion.

    • John Hultquist permalink
      August 31, 2022 4:23 am

      Natural gas (CH4) can produce byproducts when combustion is not complete. Years ago, “spring cleaning” included using a dough-like compound to wipe the dull wallpaper to bring out its colors.
      Here is one explanation that mentions coal. It explains the origin of Play-Doh as Kutol.

      Houses often had small candle-like burners along the walls. These contributed to poor air quality and deposited soot – and smells – on the walls. When little, my sister and I did not like visiting Great Aunt Lizzie because of the smell in her parlor.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 31, 2022 8:20 am

      If you burn gas as a yellow flame it will most definitely soot, at higher temperature with a blue flame combustion is much more complete.

    • August 31, 2022 10:20 am

      Some of us are old enough to remember being allowed to play with a bunsen burner. Simply twisting the collar to adjust the primary air from zero when the opening was closed created a ‘lazy’ yellow flame that created carbon via incomplete combustion (much like a candle does), to fully open with the gas entraining maximum primary air to create a hot, blue well-defined flame that was complete combustion.

      • dave permalink
        August 31, 2022 4:39 pm

        Any colour in a ‘flame’ is thermally-induced emission from the (if any) solid specks of unburned, hot carbon. The burning of a fuel’ does not produce ANY electromagnetic emissions. It is dark.

  5. terence carlin permalink
    August 30, 2022 10:44 pm

    Many of your contributors have a good handle on the global gas market so may be able to shed some light on to what is happening, as the MSM appear unable to investigate. My query is that the demand for gas at a global level is fairly flat and indeed European demand has been falling. Russia has been still supplying gas to Europe albeit it has disrupted supply via Nordstream1. However, the fall in supply from Russia to Europe seems to have been offset by a 60%+ increase in Russian supply to China . Now whilst there is clearly a disruption to the gas supply chain is the unprecedented increase in price due to supply and demand mismatch or the result of speculators ( speculation bubble) kicking in ? I note in 2007 there was a US senate report into excessive speculation into the Gas market disrupting prices › download › report..
    So is it possible that what we are seeing is a speculative bubble rather than the Government and MSM calling it a supply and demand issue or is this a naive question ?

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 31, 2022 4:26 am

      Russia increased its supply to China last year, particularly in response to extra LNG terminals opening there. This year the LNG flows across the Arctic havs been less because it stayed iced up much longer, and transshipment in Europe is also down (although there has been some off Murmansk it is not as well sheltered as Northern Norway or across the dock at Montoir or Zeebrugge. The Chinese appear to have cut back on LNG in favour of much cheaper coal. In fact there has been much more Russian LNG going to Europe than last summer: Russia has been keeping France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium well supplied while squeezing the countries that depend on pipeline supply.

      The Russian pipeline cutbacks are much more widespread than just Nordstream. Yamal (via Belarus to Poland), EUStream via Ukraine to Baumgaryen, direct supply to Baltic states, Whitestream across the Black Sea have all seen cutbacks.

      Speculation is very costly and risky in these markets. Speculators must fund a substantial proportion of the cost of purchase up front, long before delivery. Indeed, sellers of production must also lodge heavy collateral against the risk of not being able or willing to supply if prices go ballistic. Market liquidity is limited, which helps make prices much more volatile.

      I have noted that LNG ships are not in heavy demand. Clusters can be found at anchor either waiting to discharge or to secure the next cargo instead of scurrying back as soon as they have discharged. There is more slow steaming, but the fuel is expensive, and higher prices for winter make storage and slow steaming economic. Surplus shipping suggests less volume is being shipped.

      How much demand will be curtailed is the $64bn question that markets are trying to grapple with. Supply looks inelastic, so cold weather will send prices soaring. As does bouts of low wind that increases demand for power station gas.

      • August 31, 2022 10:22 am

        “This year the LNG flows across the Arctic have been less because it stayed iced up much longer ….”

        Surely not? The BBC haven’t reported that! 😉

    • Micky R permalink
      August 31, 2022 7:37 am

      I’m sure there is a degree of speculation, as with most large markets, but there’s no doubt that UK consumers are being ripped-off ….. again.

      Bloomberg claim:

      UK gas producers and electricity generators may make excess profits totaling as much as £170 billion ($199 billion) over the next two years,

      Article includes weasel words e.g. “may”

      Where is the buyer’s cartel when you need one?

  6. Graeme No.3 permalink
    August 30, 2022 10:53 pm

    They “flare off” gas in North Dakota as you can best see

    The reason is that the wells were ready to deliver but Biden banned the delivery pipelines.
    You might make a comparison with the EU (through Germany) banning Nordstream 2 delivering gas, but we know from the BBC it is really a plot by that evil Russian dictator to “destroy the climate” (which he doesn’t believe it would be affected by CO2).

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 31, 2022 8:28 am

      N.Dakota flaring reached a record low as a % of production last year, so story doesn’t really stack up.

  7. Nicholas Lewis permalink
    August 30, 2022 11:15 pm

    Yes its not great but given we flared gas in N.Sea oil rigs for decades we are hardly saints

    • Martin Brumby permalink
      August 31, 2022 9:33 am

      We used to flare gas at many sites, including coal mines. Before that we just released the methane with the ventilation air. After that, some fancy equipment was installed at great cost, using some kind of catalytic process to convert methane to CO2. No need to agonise now, no more coal mines.

      Of course entirely natural methane emissions remain. The proven adverse effect of which is the square root of bugger all.

      At least we don’t have to get upset about the methane released when foundations for whirligigs are constructed. THAT methane has the real odour of sanctity! GangGreen Saints assure us!

  8. M E permalink
    August 31, 2022 1:48 am

    On the day when we hear of the death of Mikhail Gorbachev can we wish for some Glasnost from the newsmedia ? Peristroika was a good idea too.
    Still our overbearing governments will brush this aside.
    Back to the Iron Curtain days and welcome the return of the Cold War !

    • John Hultquist permalink
      August 31, 2022 4:42 am

      To those under the age of about 15 in 1991, the Cold War is ancient history.

  9. Ben Vorlich permalink
    August 31, 2022 7:04 am

    If I were Putin I’d flare as much as possible as Psychological warfare to upset the population of Western Europe. They might then put pressure on their governments to end the war in Ukraine.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      August 31, 2022 8:07 am

      Russia is selling lots of natural gas via pipeline to China (with competition(?) from Turkmenistan, and also lots of liquid gas in ship loads. The Chinese don’t need all this extra gas due to their economic slowdown so they on-sell it to those desperate for supplies.
      Any countries come to mind? Hint: They recently announced a boycott of gas from Russia, (shutting off pipelines, delaying equipment repairs etc.) so now they have (possibly) enough supplies to get through winter (with other measures), a nice smug feeling of triumph and much higher gas bills.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        August 31, 2022 9:39 am

        It doesn’t do Putin any harm to cause dissent and a bit more opposition to those in power in the West. The Russians /Soviets have needed a replacement for CND since Greenham Common.
        As the saying has it Any Port in a storm.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        August 31, 2022 9:33 pm

        China has figured out that coal is cheaper. Last year they bought so much LNG over the summer that Europe was starved of it, helping to create the crisis. This year the long closed Arctic route forced shipment past Europe. Might as well stop off there, given what they were paying. Some had been transshipped from Russian vessels, and others simply carried on delivering to Spain, Portugal, France and Belgium without interruption.

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 31, 2022 8:40 am

    Although 4.34mcm/day sounds big, it seems this is actually tiny in the global context of routine flaring.

  11. cookers52 permalink
    August 31, 2022 10:25 am

    Never underestimate the ability of politicians to really f*** things up.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 31, 2022 1:52 pm

      That does seem to be their only ‘talent’. Oh, nearly forgot, troughing for expenses.

  12. Rowland P permalink
    August 31, 2022 10:37 am

    If I recall correctly, the proportion of methane in the atmosphere is 0.000175%. We are doomed!

  13. BLACK PEARL permalink
    August 31, 2022 11:59 am

    Didn’t McGrath get a nice £100,000 some time back (from a US climate institution) for doing such a good job.?
    (Did he study the ‘Propagandist’ Joseph Goebbels methodology on reporting skills I wonder ?)

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