US adviser warns ‘lives at stake’ in European gas crunch – California News Times

A senior US energy adviser warned that Europe is “at risk of life” this winter as the continent is heading into a season of low gas reserves and potentially diminished supply.

Amos Hochstein, senior adviser to energy security at Joe Biden’s State Department, said Russia “has a shortage of supply to the market compared to traditional supply” and has contributed to record high prices. ..

“If it’s a really cold winter by January and February, we may run out of supplies. He told the Financial Times when he visited Kiev on Saturday that Europe relies on Russia for its energy flow. He stressed US concerns about that: “This isn’t just some geopolitical games. People’s lives are at stake.”

Hochstein, a veteran of the Barack Obama administration’s State Department and a former adviser to then-Vice President Biden, was appointed last month with an immediate focus on mitigating the risks posed by Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. it was done. Critics say the Kremlin will use pipelines to bypass Ukraine and deprive Ukraine of shipping charges, weakening Ukraine and increasing its leverage on the EU’s energy supply.

A $ 11 billion pipeline that transports 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Europe is expected to begin by the end of the year. Ukrainian officials have accused Moscow of deliberately choking supplies to speed up NS2 certification with European regulators. This process is still in progress.

Russia’s energy giant Gazprom has consistently stated that it meets all long-term contracts with European buyers, but faces criticism that additional gas is not available when supply is tight.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that the rise in European gas prices was the result of the European Commission’s “smart alec”, which promoted “market-based” pricing. Russia dominates the supply.

Other factors are also tightening the market, including this year’s plunge in European domestic production due to the coronavirus pandemic, increased gas demand for highly polluted coal, and Asian demand for liquefied natural gas cargo.

Energy executives warn that prices could remain high during the winter until some energy-intensive industries may be needed limit Output and household bills may increase.

The U.S. has long opposed NS2, but the Biden administration has a ceasefire with Germany in July requiring Berlin to be sanctioned if it “weapons” its pipeline against Ukraine and other allies. Reached. The Biden administration had previously lifted sanctions on Gazprom-owned pipeline operator Nord Stream 2AG.

Polish officials adjacent to Kiev have categorically criticized the US-German agreement for not providing concrete guarantees about security via Ukraine and other Eastern European countries and future Russian gas flows. There is.

During his visit to Kiev, Hochstein met with Ukrainian authorities to implement a US-German agreement in a way that addresses such concerns, but persuaded Gazprom to extend the gas transport agreement through Ukraine after 2024. bottom. Russians will agree to extend gas transport through Ukraine, “Hochstein said. Kiev claims that Russia has stalled the extension of the transit agreement.

Hochstein said the United States believed Russia had “weaponized natural gas for years,” but could not say that Moscow had deliberately cut gas supplies in recent months. .. ..

US adviser warns ‘lives at stake’ in European gas crunch Source link US adviser warns ‘lives at stake’ in European gas crunch