Putin on the prowl in Ukraine and Rawtenstall cut off from world - the louder the Bang the bigger the silence
The Russian bear is once again threatening EU gas supplies. Their annual fisticuffs with the Ukraine over unpaid bills and increased charges has led state controlled Gazprom, Russia's largest energy provider, to hint at doubts over gas supplies across Europe.
In a statement on Monday, Viktor Zubkov, the Russian first deputy prime minister and chairman of Gazprom, refused to guarantee that the dispute would not cause problems for gas supplies to Europe.
Ukraine transmits 80pc of Russian gas exports to Europe via its pipelines and a similar dispute in 2006 led to an interruption of supplies across the continent. See here for explanation of how cutting gas to Ukraine affects EU gas supplies- Tuesday, March 04, 2008 The Bigger the Bang - The Louder the silence No 17 : Massive gas Explosion at Nyagan, Siberia covered up... and gas cuts to Ukraine ??
Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, said it was "monitoring the situation closely" ( = it is getting ready to wake up Lord Mogg the totally ineffectual wanker who is chairman of the spavined regulator) while a spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) added: "We urge both parties to treat this as a commercial matter and to seek agreement. We have diverse sources of gas supply which means we are not reliant on any single supplier. Russia is not cutting off Europe. A reduction in Russian gas deliveries via Ukraine should not pose an immediate risk to the supply of gas to the EU."
Which means we also have sources of LNG and supplies could be available within ...ooooh ... months although we can only store some 14 days supplies nationally at any one time.
Around 2pc of the UK's gas supply comes directly from Russia, Decc claimed. So that's alright then. See also Wednesday, April 02, 2008 Hymne Russe
It's Grim Oooop North
Gas leaks were reported on December 4th and the smell has increased until yesterday , whilst repairs being done, a massive explosion in the main gas pipeline also brought down power lines near a sub station in Rawtenstall, Lancashire.
The blast left 18,000 homes without gas and 17,000 without electricity.200 homes have been evacuated.
It is most likely the gas supply will not be resolved until after Christmas.
Areas affected include Bacup, Waterfoot, Rawtenstall, Newchurch and Crawshawbooth and residents were asked as a safety measure to turn off all gas supplies and equipment.
A United Utilities spokesman said about 17,000 homes were without electricity after the blast, but all were expected to be reconnected by 2000 BST Monday.
Don't really expect to read / see this on national news it's only 18,000 left without gas after it has taken the gas company since Decemeber 4th to mend a leak.
UPDATE : Saturday 2100 GMT
Russia, Iran and 12 other nations are members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). This is of concern to Gas importers who can see that an effort is underway in Moscow to recast GECF into a gas cartel similar to Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).(Which of course they deny)
In a speech Putin said
.."This means that despite the current problems in finances the era of cheap energy resources, of cheap gas, is of course coming to an end,"
Rawtenstall Gas explosion has now reached national news and some 300 engineers have been drafted in from across the country. District nurse cover to cope with Rossendale's older and vulnerable has been boosted. NHS Lancashire said it would mean more staff working over Christmas but a commitment to keep people in their own homes if possible.
Following the explosion evacuees were taken to Kay Street Baptist Church where volunteers from the Red Cross were on hand to provide help.