Czech billionaire Karel Komarek recently announced that he is exploring options to remove Gazprom from the longstanding gas storage joint venture between his oil and gas production company MND (Moravske Naftove Doly) and Gazprom Germania. Gas storage has become a strategic business since the EU agreed this month that member states should bring gas storage levels up to 90% capacity by the start of this October to prepare for the coming winter, so that the bloc is not so dependent on flows of Russian gas.
Belgium’s ministerial committee has decided that the country’s nuclear energy plants will be extended until 2035 – ten years longer than had previously been planned. Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten said: "Doel 4 et Tihange 3 reactors would together provide 2GW of electricity as a supplement to renewable energies. This would be sufficient to power approximately 1.5 million homes."
Natural gas prices in Europe declined for the fourth day after Russia excluded some major commodities from its list of products set to suffer export restrictions. Russia announced an export ban for more than 200 products after the country’s economy was hit by sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.
Gas imports from Russia make up 40% of the European Union’s gas consumption. Nord Stream 2 when operational could have supplied 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas or ten percent of Europe’s annual consumption.
The European Commission outlined a plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels before 2030, starting with gas, in light of the country’s military offensive in Ukraine. The proposal is designed to curb energy prices and replenish gas stocks for next winter amid the uncertainty of supply.