Major explosion and fire at huge refinery in Russia amid gas supply row with Europe

The Amur gas processing plant in Svobodny in the far east of Russia is just a few months after it was opened by President Vladimir Putin. a great fire broke out

National credit – 8

A major explosion broke out in a large gas refinery in Russia, causing a fire and the shutdown of the facility.

The fire at the Amur gas processing plant comes amid a major dispute with Europe, including the UK, over winter supplies.

From the plant in Svobodny in the far east of the country, huge flames can be seen leaping dozens of meters into the air.

A plant official said, “The plant has stopped supplying gas. All work processes are suspended.

“The ambulance service is still working and there is no confirmation that the fire has been completely extinguished.”

It is not immediately clear what impact this will have on the entire Russian gas supply system.

The gas works is located in the far east of Russia
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Image:

@agpz_aghk_svobodnyi)

Russian officials said the fire in the Far Eastern facility had been extinguished, but it was not clear whether the shutdown would result in Moscow diverting more gas from Yamal – which supplies Europe to the east, where China is a major customer.

The fire comes at a tense time for those involved in the world gas market as prices are already skyrocketing around the world.

Vladimir Putin is accused of stalling supplies to force Europe into reliance on a new pipeline.

The fire broke out early one Friday after the plant’s equipment was decompressed.

No one has been reported injured and there is no threat to the facility or nearby settlements, sources said.

The Amur plant – six time zones east of the capital Moscow – went into operation in July and was opened by Putin in a secluded ceremony.

The fire came just a few months after the factory opened
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Image:

@ agpz_aghk_svobodnyi / east2west news)

The fire broke out on Friday morning
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Image:

@ agpz_aghk_svobodnyi / east2west news)

It is still under construction as one of Gazprom’s largest infrastructure projects.

A criminal investigation has opened the explosion.

Britain has accused Putin of deliberately restricting gas exports in order to force the EU to approve the Nord Stream 2, a pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

“Russia is throttling supplies only to sell itself as a solution,” said an official UK source.

“The approval of Nord Stream 2 would give Russia a stranglehold on international gas prices and make the EU even more dependent on them.”

It is unclear whether the fire will affect global gas prices
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Image:

@ agpz_aghk_svobodnyi / east2west news)

Domestically, the British face large increases in the price of their gas due to a variety of problems, including supply.

This morning Jonathan Brearley, CEO of Ofgem, said that the price cap set by the regulator will be “increased significantly” which will help control gas and electricity costs in the UK.

“We can’t predict everything and, as we’ve seen, the wholesale market has been going up and down extremely quickly so we can’t fully predict what it will be,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

“But in view of the costs that are in the system, we expect a significant increase in April.”

However, Mr Brearley added that the current price cap will remain in place through April.

“We have no plans to raise the price cap until April,” he said.

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