Dear friends, here are some perplexing news. I read and reread them several times, checked sources and encyclopedia, and still couldn’t understand what exactly is happening. Hopefully, together we will get to the bottom of it.
Estonia has decided to fight for its “energy independence” and decided to buy natural gas from… Finland.
There is only one question regarding this otherwise normally sounding news. What is the source of natural gas in Finland?
Let’s figure this out step by step.
Yle, or the Finnish Broadcasting Company reports that the construction of the Balticconnector gas pipeline project to connect Finland and Estonia with the natural gas pipeline started on 8th of June 2018 near Helsinki.
The reason for this project, as I have said already, is to reduce “dependence” on Russian gas.
During the opening ceremony, Finnish Minister of the Environment and Energy Kimmo Tiilikainen stated that the construction of the Balticconnector will be beneficial to all participants on the Eastern part of the Baltic Sea region.
It will also open the Scandinavian energy market for the Baltic countries.
This gas pipeline also, in his opinion, will increase the security of natural gas deliveries.
So far so good.
Here are some technical characteristics of this new gas pipeline project.
The total length of Balticconnector will be 153 kilometers.
77 kilometers of pipe will be laid across the Baltic sea from Pakri Peninsula in Northwestern Estonia to Inkoo, Finland.
The gas pipeline capacity is 7.2 million cubic meters of gas per day.
The total cost of the project is approximately €250 million.
Let’s remember this number of €250 million.
The European Union pays for 75% of the cost.
The construction will be completed in 2020.
Everything is good, so far.
Great news that received a massive media coverage in both, Estonia and Finland.
Everything seems to be great.
But I want to ask again, what are the sources of natural gas in Finland?
To find an answer to this question we can look into geological textbooks and encyclopedias, or we can read August 2016 headlines.
“Finland just got $210 million from the EU to break its dependency on Russian energy.”
All is very simple.
The natural gas in Finland comes from Russia.
Let’s first read the media coverage of the 2016 related news.
“The fight around the Nord Stream 2 is on its final stretch. At the time when Brussels approved $210 million to reduce Finland’s dependency on Russia’s natural gas, foreign partners participating in construction of the NS2 are getting ready to fight Poland’s objections to this project.”
In terms of the natural gas, Finland was, probably, the most dependent on Russia country.
But it was back in 2016. Today, however, Finland sells natural gas to Estonia. Well… It’s getting ready to start selling natural gas to Estonia in 2020.
The quoted article tells us that Finland has little domestic natural gas and that most of it comes from Russia. The result is an alleged strong Moscow‘s pressure on Finland, according to Brussels.
In this context we might recall recent visit of president Putin to Helsinki. We all remember this visit.
Europeans in general, and countries neighboring Finland, in particular, expressed strong criticism of this visit.
Especially critical were Swedish politicians.
However, all critics got stern rebuke from Helsinki that said that Finland will be deciding whom to invite for a visit.
It’s not surprising that the European Committee wants to reduce Finland’s dependency on Russian gas and ready to spend some money to achieve this.
European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete announced that the Committee allocated $210 million on the construction of a gas pipeline, the same pipeline that I talked about at the beginning. In 2016 total construction price was estimated to be $250 million, but a part of it was paid by the Finish taxpayers. The pipeline, as I mentioned before was to connect Finland and Estonia to reduce Finland’s dependency on Russian gas.
Logic is not the strongest trait of European politicians.
The gas pipeline to reduce Finland’s dependency on Russian gas would total length will be around 160 kilometers.
It means that the gas pipeline announced in 2016 is the same as the Balticconnector.
In 2016 they announced that gas delivering will start at the end of 2019. Now, they says that the project will start operating in 2020.
This gas pipeline will become a part of the interconnected pipelines that will connect the Eastern European countries and will be competing with the Nord Stream 2.
Brussels believes that the Balticconnector will shatter the “energy isolation” of Finland. It will make it possible to purchase less of Russian gas and, in consequences, it will reduce the pressure that Russia, allegedly, uses on Finland.
Friends, let’s try again.
The Balticconnector is being built to reduce dependence of Estonia on Russian gas. But two years ago, The Balticconnector project was supposed to reduce Finland’s dependency on Russian gas.
Do you feel that someone somehow is being dishonest here.
Let’s read further.
European Commissioner Cañete states that the diversification of energy import sources and diversification of energy delivery routes, and also the unification of energy markets are all priority tasks for the Energy Union. These conditions will help to provide everybody in the EU with reliable energy.
Friends, energy must be reliable. And also energy must be democratic. Pure. Kind. Positive. And Not Russian.
You got the message.
“Government of Finland intends to diversify the energy sector in the country by building several small LNG terminals for the LNG to be delivered by the sea.”
That’s it! Puzzle is completed.
Using the Balticconnector terminals, Finland will be selling Russian natural gas to Estonians, while buying American LNG for themselves.
No one buys anything from “damn Moscals.”
Estonians buy natural gas from Finland.
Finland will buy LNG from the US via new terminals, while covering the shortage by buying gas from Russia. And this will make everyone happy.
The full energy independence is achieved.
This actually is very funny.
Our people momentarily realized what actually going on here, and immediately started trolling this news on social media.
“The EU gives 185.5 million euros to reduce Estonian dependency on Russian gas by building a gas pipeline from Finland. The source of natural gas in Finland remans a secret.”
There are some other questions that the European Commission hasn’t addressed.
Where will Estonians be getting natural gas if Russia decides to sell less to Finland?
What would happen if a very cold winter forces Finns to use everything they buy from Russia?
We all understand that the American LNG will be very expensive and it will not be able to cover all energy needs of Finland and Estonia if there is a lack of gas. At the bare minimum, neither the US no Europe has infrastructure capable of handling necessary volume.
That’s why at least part of the gas will be bought from Russia. Because today, according to the experts, Finland buys from Russia nearly 100% of gas the country needs.
So, it’s possible that in case of a very cold winter, Finland won’t be selling gas to Estonia.
In this case Estonia can use the example of such developed European country as Ukraine. Ryabcev, an energy expert in Ukrainian, provides us with an answer. “Everyone says that we have not been buying any gas from Gazprom for the past two years. However, when in March Gazprom stopped deliveries to Ukraine and the pressure inside the pipeline went lower, we were told about the shortage of gas. Where would this deficit come from if we didn’t buy gas from Russia? We don’t depend on the transit of the natural gas from Russia. We experience the shortage of gas, because we couldn’t buy more gas from Slovakia. Slovakia doesn’t have its own natural gas. It simply resell Russian gas that it receives via Ukrainian transit pipeline.”
Friends, when Slovakia needed more gas that it purchases from Russia, it simply started selling less of it to Ukraine. As a result, Ukraine started experiencing the lack of natural gas.
The most important for nationalistic Estonians is to realize now that they might be left without any gas if they cut off the gas pipeline coming from Russia. In this case they will have a real “peremoga,” or a Ukrainian sort of dubious victory.
Dear citizens of Estonia, ask your government how realistic is to achieve your “energy independence” from Russia via the Balticconnector project?
Tell me about this in comments. Share with me your thoughts, friends. Tell me who else is performing this political gymnastic by claiming that gas that they buy from Russia is their own gas which they sell to others.
Nothing good can come out of this ridiculous situation. There are limited number of gas producing nations. Who needs all these?
Well, we know who. So, the US would sell its LNG.
That’s about it about this strange the Balticconnector gas pipeline from Finland to Estonia. Who will be providing energy security to whom is still a big question.
Share you opinion in the comments. Warm cheers to the people living in the Baltic countries. All the best. Goodbye.