Posts Tagged ‘Baltic Sea’

Shale gas potential delays new natural gas pieline under the Baltic

November 19, 2013

It will be slower than in the US, but shale gas will also be a game changer in Europe. Even though Russia has huge reserves of shale gas and shale oil, they would also prefer that the transition to shale gas should not go too fast. They have so much invested in the Natural Gas infrastructure that they need to keep the sales of natural gas going to ensure a return. Gazprom has the enviable dilemma of protecting an existing revenue stream by preventing the too rapid establishment of another revenue stream. One problem for Gazprom of course is that shale gas is much more widespread across Europe and their virtual monopoly with Siberian natural gas will be threatened.

In any case the energy scene is changing fast and the planned investment in additional gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany have been delayed by Nord Stream.

Swedish Radio News: The gas pipeline consortium Nord Stream are delaying their plans for one or two more pipelines under the Baltic Sea. According to Nord Stream’s adviser, Lars Grönstedt, the shareholders want further analyses of the rapidly changing energy market. 

The USA has quickly become almost self-sufficient in energy because of its own shale gas , and it has led to Europe buying more cheap coal than before. “I can not comment directly on the shareholders’ deliberations. But I can guess that since gas has changed to such an extent just the last twelve months , it needs some deeper analysis” says Lars Grönstedt. 

Nord Stream pipeline image http://russia-media.ru/

Nord Stream’s current pipeline has two channels extending from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany under the Baltic Sea to deliver Russian natural gas to Europe.  

Nord Stream had planned to add one or two further gas pipes and held public information meetings last spring –  including on Gotland. It is a project that is expected to cost about $9 billion, and in Sweden alone could create some two hundred jobs during construction. 

Nord Stream’s shareholders, five European energy companies , including Russia’s Gazprom , have postponed these plans. The changes in the energy market as Lars Grönstedt mention, are due in part to America’s increased shale gas . 

I suspect that Gazprom’s best way of maximising revenues is by holding up current natural gas prices but not so high that the development of shale gas is accelerated and not so high that gas users shift to coal (as the large utilities are doing in Germany). A delicate calculation and which would require a slow development of their gas distribution pipelines.

But for the private consumers, the lowest cost would be if shale gas development was speeded up.

 

Record ice levels in the Baltic Sea

April 5, 2013

The stubborn high pressure and the late spring have given the highest level of ice coverage for this time of year in the Baltic Sea since records began in the 1960′s.

Svenska Dagbladet reports: The stubborn high pressure has set a new record late date of maximum ice extent. On 29 the March, 176,000 square kilometers of the Baltic Sea surface were covered by ice.

The previous record was on 25th March 2008 when 49,000 square kilometers was present.

Swedish Ice report 

STSN42 ESWI 0310514/3/13

 

BAY OF BOTHNIA IN THE ARCHIPELAGOS UP TO 80 CM FAST ICE. AT SEA OFF THE FAST ICE EDGE IN THE WE STERN AND NORTHERN PARTS, A 15 NAUTICAL MILES WIDE AREA WITH ALTERNATING 10 – 30 CM LEVEL ICE. JUST WEST OF FARSTUGRUNDEN AND IN THE BAY OF SKELLEFTEA THERE ARE LEADS WITH OPEN WATER. EAST OF THERE, NORTH OF THE LATITUDE THROUGH BJUROKLUBB, MOSTLY 30-70 CM VERY CL OSE DRIFT ICE WITH HEAVY RIDES AND CRACKS. RIDGES, DIFFICULT TO PASS OCCUR OFF RAAHE AND FURTHER NORTHWARDS PASSING NAHKIAINEN. SOUTH OF BJUROKLUBB THE DRIFT ICE IS 30-60 CM THICK WITH RIDGES AND CRACKS. OFF THE SWEDISH COAST MOSTLY THIN LEVEL ICE AND SINGLE HEAVY FLOES. ……. 

Nord Stream gas goes on-line today

November 8, 2011

The Russian gas pipeline bypassing all transit countries to Germany by being routed under the Baltic Sea goes live today.

RT: After 13 years of planning and two years of construction, the Nord Stream pipeline will deliver its first supplies of Russian gas to an estimated 26 million homes in the EU on Tuesday. 

(more…)

60 ships trapped in Baltic Sea Ice on Sunday: 5 icebreakers at work

February 28, 2011

The area of the Bothnian Sea.

Image via Wikipedia

Swedish Radio reports that some 60 vessels were trapped in the Baltic sea ice yesterday and that 5 icebreakers are working feverishly to clear their paths. The ships are trapped in the southern section of the Gulf of Bothnia known as “Bottenhavet”.

This problematic situation was not helped by the strong southerly winds which compressed the ice sheet. To the north of Sundsvall, ships cannot proceed without icebreaker assistance.
Most ships trapped on Sunday are now free but some yet have problems and are waiting for assistance from icebreakers.
“At all ports north of Sundsvall, it remains very difficult ” says
Johny Lindvall at FMA Icebreaking.
Last weekend 250 000 square kilometers of the Baltic Sea was  covered with ice, which according to SMHI was the largest area covered by ice since the winter of 1986-87.

The Swedish Maritime Administration warns:

The strong winds that we have had the last couple of days has resulted in a severe ice situation, mainly in the northern part of the Sea of Bothnia. This makes it hard to predict how long time each individual assistance will take.

Ice breaking vessels and their activities:

Ale: Assisting/supervising the traffic on Lake Vänern.
Atle: During the evening/night assisting Red Spirit from Karlsborg to Haraholmen and then Salsa out from Haraholmen.
Frej: Now assisting a convoy of four southbound ships , that were stuck on the finnish side, over to the channel that has opened up on the swedish side.
Ymer: Assisting/supervising the traffic in Ålands Sea
Baltica: Visit in shipyard
Scandica: Assisting and supervising the traffic in Kalmar Sound.
Fyrbyggaren: Assisting/supervising in Bay of Havringe.
Balder Viking: On her way with a convoy to Ornskoldsvik and Holmsund.
Tor Viking: Breaking loose Merwborg and then assist her to Holmsund.
Vidar Viking: Assisting/supervising on the northern Baltic Proper,  Bay of Havringe and Landsort.
STOCKHOLM 110223 Isläggningen i Bottenhavet och Östersjön är den mest omfattande sedan 1987, och det kalla vädret gör att isen fortsätter att breda ut sig, rapporterar SMHI. Foto: Kustbevakningen.

Ice levels in Bottenhavet are the most widespread since 1987. Photo Swedish Coast Guard

Baltic sea ice highest in 25 years

February 26, 2011

From The Local:

Baltic Sea: image Wikipedia

Deep freeze puts Baltic on track for record ice

Following another extended stretch of sub-zero temperatures, ice coverage on the Baltic Sea is greater than it’s been in nearly a quarter century, Sweden’s meteorological agency reports. About 250,000 square kilometres of the Baltic Sea are now covered in ice according to the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).

The last time so much of the Baltic was frozen was the winter of 1986-87, when ice covered nearly 400,000 square kilometres of the sea’s surface.

SMHI warns that ice coverage on the Baltic could expand further in the coming days, possibly setting a new record. “The surface water is cold and if winter-like temperatures continue in the region a few more weeks, we’ll probably get an icy winter on par with 1984-85, one of the toughest winters in the 1980s,” SMHI oceanographer Amund E. B. Lindberg said in a statement.

According to SMHI’s estimates, ice may eventually connect the Swedish mainland all the way out to the Baltic island of Gotland, which lies about 90 kilometres off of Sweden’s eastern coast.

Baltic ice cover is not only unusually wide this winter, but also unusually thick, especially in Gulf of Bothnia off Sweden’s northeastern coast, where air temperatures have consistently hovered around -30 degrees Celsius in recent months.

In some areas far out at sea, ice is more than 60 centimetres thick in the northern parts of the gulf. Recent cold temperatures near the southern areas of the Gulf of Bothnia have resulted in ice thickness growing by 30 centimetres in just two weeks.

Icebreakers from the Swedish Maritime Administration (Sjöfartsverket) have been working round the clock to ensure that sea routes on the Baltic remain open, but strong winds expected at the weekend may complicate their work.

SMHI’s daily ice report says:

During the next two days  heavy ice drifting and ridge forming is expected in all waters of the Baltic Sea north of N58 °.

A detailed sea ice map is available here:

Baltic Sea ice levels 20110225: image smhi


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