Why do I get a pop ad in the middle of the screen when I first open a discussion. It's happening again for this one.
Europe is responsible for finding themselves at the mercy of Russian natural gas. A seemingly obvious and somewhat dumb state of affairs. Energy has always been a political problem for Europe owing to the lack of oil and gas resources and the dependence on imports. That's one of the reasons that numerous countries have more robust renewable energy regulations and investor support. The problem is the time required to create an energy mix that is both economic and dependable. Natural gas is the best transitional energy choice and should be a long term back up for high demand periods. So, do European countries get that supply from Russia or elsewhere? Russian gas is the more affordable option but comes with huge political disadvantages. In order to better utilize LNG, there needs to be greater storage capacities for natural gas. Here, salt dome caverns serve that purpose. I don't recall reading anything regarding the ability of European countries to do something similar. That would appear to be an oversight that is now the crux of their energy problem.
The pop ups don't even seem to be something that GHS members would have an interest in.
What Happens if Russia Cuts Off Europe’s Natural Gas?
Europe is a huge customer of Russia’s fossil fuels. Gas from the U.S. and elsewhere is helping offset fears of a midwinter cutoff.
By Stanley Reed Jan. 25, 2022 nytimes.com
While Russia masses troops and military equipment near its border with Ukraine, parallel tensions have been building in world energy markets.
It is not hard to see why. Natural gas flowing through a web of pipelines from Russia heats homes and power factories across much of Europe. Russia is also one of the continent’s key sources of oil.
Now Western officials are considering what happens if Moscow issues a doomsday response to the tensions — a cutoff of those gas and oil supplies, in the depths of Europe’s winter.
The standoff over Ukraine comes at an inopportune time. World energy prices are already elevated as supplies of oil and natural gas have lagged the recovery of demand from the pandemic.
In Europe, record high prices are drawing tankers of natural gas from the United States, Qatar and elsewhere. On Tuesday, White House officials said discussions were underway to get more natural gas to the continent. Whether this will be enough to defuse the risk of an energy cutoff remains to be seen.
Here is a look at some of the key issues.
Why has Europe been hit so hard by the energy crunch?
This winter Europe is living through an energy crisis, with soaring prices for natural gas and electricity. It started when storage levels of gas fell well below normal last year.
Natural gas is trading at about five times the price of a year ago. Although prices are now about half of the peak reached late last year, they are roughly seven times higher than levels in the United States. High gas prices raise electricity costs, threaten big increases in consumers’ bills and have pushed some energy-hungry factories like fertilizer plants and metal smelters into temporary shutdowns.
Russia has added to these woes. It has exported less gas than usual and has kept storage levels at European gas facilities owned by Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, at rock bottom. Such tactics have helped raise anxiety about whether enough gas will be available to make it through a cold winter.
“If things get really messy in Ukraine, one can only observe that Europe is in an exceptionally vulnerable position right now,” said Thane Gustafson, author of “The Bridge,” a study of the natural gas trade between Russia and Europe.
How important is Russian gas for Europe?
Russia supplies about one-third of Europe’s natural gas, and its prominence as a supplier has grown as the continent’s domestic output has declined.
Production in the Netherlands, once a major gas producer in the European Union, has been dropping sharply as the Dutch government gradually shuts down the huge Groningen field in response to earthquakes set off by gas production.
Gas is also growing in relative importance as coal-fired power stations are shut down in countries like Germany in order to meet environmental goals and nuclear plants are also closed there and in Britain.
Despite Europe’s big investments in renewable energy like wind and solar power, it still needs conventional sources of supply. Gas-fired power plants are one of the few options left.
How seriously would conflict in Ukraine threaten Europe’s gas supplies?
While flows of natural gas vary and have fallen of late, about one-third of Russia’s gas exports to Europe usually go through Ukraine. Those pipelines could become collateral damage during a Russian invasion, analysts say.
President Vladimir V. Putin might cut off all or a large portion of Russian gas flows to Europe in response to still unspecified economic sanctions that the United States and other Western countries have pledged to impose in the event of an invasion.
“If we try to lock them out of capital markets, then they will go to our place of pain, which is energy,” said Helima Croft, head of commodities at RBC Capital Markets, an investment bank.
Are there any remedies to head off shortfalls?
In recent months Russia has been putting Europe through something of a stress test, squeezing gas flows in an apparent attempt to coerce approval on issues like Nord Stream 2, the $11 billion undersea pipeline connecting Russia to Germany that is awaiting final approval.
Gazprom says it is not doing anything unusual, maintaining it “delivers gas in accordance with consumer requests in full compliance with current contractual obligations,” a spokeswoman said.
But while storage levels remain low and prices are high, Europe has not run out of the fuel.
Market forces are working, if belatedly. An armada of giant ships has been bringing cargoes of liquefied natural gas, which is gas chilled to liquid form, lured by high prices and cajoling from the Biden administration. The ships are coming from the United States and elsewhere, and a single tanker can hold the equivalent of three times the current daily transit volumes from Russia through Ukraine.
The surge has been significant: In January, flows of liquefied natural gas to Europe have actually exceeded those of Russian gas. These shipments, along with a relatively mild winter so far, have at least temporarily eased fears of a shortfall.
Understand Russia’s Relationship With the West
The tension between the regions is growing and Russian President Vladimir Putin is increasingly willing to take geopolitical risks and assert his demands.
“There is less risk of running out of gas,” said Massimo Di Odoardo, vice president for gas at Wood Mackenzie, a market research firm. “Concerns of blackouts are now becoming less.”
Mr. Di Odoardo said that another reason for January’s decline in Russian gas flows to Europe are that European utilities, at current high prices, are choosing to sell what gas they do have in storage, rather than buy from Russia.
Whether liquefied natural gas shipments could offset a complete shut-off of Russian gas to Europe is doubtful. Liquefied natural gas tankers require special terminals, and Europe probably does not have enough receiving terminals to match such enormous losses.
“Import capacity in Europe is being tested right now, so the region would struggle to take substantially more,” said Laura Page, an analyst at Kpler, a research firm.
How is the standoff likely to leave Russia’s relations with its customers?
Probably worse. The show of force on Ukraine’s border “is going to damage them commercially in the market,” said Trevor Sikorski, analyst at Energy Aspects, a research firm.
Mr. Putin’s behavior has most likely raised doubts about Russia’s claims to be a reliable energy supplier, and it may well hasten the shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy, a move that undercuts the Russian economy.
“This crisis will only accelerate the geopolitical motivation to get off the dependency on gas in general and Russian gas in particular,” Mr. Goldwyn said.
Add Adblock plus as an extension. I tried it on Mac OS and Windows 10 with both Firefox and Chrome. It eliminated the pop-ups. If you are running something a different browser (Edge, Safari) or operating system (Linux) let me know and I will see if I can stop it.
Thanks, I have it. I just turned it off temporarily trying to figure out what was going on with all the pop up ads. I've continued to get a pop up when first clicking on a discussion with Adblock enabled. That's a recent development. Something has changed.
The popups are getting better at avoiding ad blockers.
Two things to try:
1. Click on the adbock plus icon at the top of the browser. Click on the gear at the top right. Go to advanced and click on update all filters. If that does not fix it then try no 2 below.
2. Once you get the popup click the adblock plus icon at the top of the browser. You will see a blue box that says block element. Press that and move the courser over the popup and press enter. I have found that to be successful on other web sites.
Thanks. No. 1 didn't help and I don't see the blue box but then again I'm not getting the same pop up that covers much of the screen. Seems once I turn it off, it stays off for some time. There are still some smaller pop ups that remain in odd places but not the big one.
Agree! Europe is responsible for getting itself out of its mess. We're happy to sell our gas to them, but getting it to them is the old "slow boat to China".... but sub in Europe instead.
I get that pop-up too. what's that about? Been happening for quite a while
Something has changed in the website architecture that is enabling a blizzard of pop up ads. I'm trying some of full name's suggestions and playing with my Adblocker plus to see if I can do anything about this. It is endlessly annoying.
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