Expert: “Is Russia burning gas so as not to sell it to the EU? It makes no sense”

“It makes no sense” to assume that Russia is burning gas on the border with Finland in order not to sell it to Europe, perhaps as a result of sanctions. This is the opinion of Massimo Nicolazzi, professor of Energy Resources Economics at the University of Turin, with a past as a manager also at Lukoil.

“It is not clear then how, according to this theory, the Russians would pump gas from Siberia at the border with Finland instead of burning it at the extraction site, also saving on transport”, explains in an interview with Adnkronos Nicolazzi, underlining that according to the BBC the flaring is not taking place at the compression station of the Portovaya plant, but in an LNG plant.

This, says Nicolazzi, highlighting that his experience is “as a manager and not as a technician”, advances another hypothesis. “To liquefy the gas, first you have to process it – continues Nicolazzi, now senior advisor for energy security at ISPI – It may be that (the Russians, ed) have technical problems with the liquefaction process”.

The expert therefore recalls that last year the Russians exported 150 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, while this year the supplies will be less than a third. “It is not that what they do not export they must still produce and burn, a gas producing well in most cases can be closed leaving the gas in the field without damaging the field itself – he concludes – There is no need to disperse it in the atmosphere”.