According to an analysis, Russia is flaring large amounts of natural gas that it would have previously exported to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

Experts from Norway’s Rystad Energy say satellite monitoring of radiant heat levels at a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility being built near the Finnish border indicates the practice has been going on since July 11 – and estimated at $10m (£8.4m). gas value is burned every day.

The flaring first appeared a few weeks ago when the Finns noticed a large flame on the horizon at the Russian border.

Analysis by the Independent Energy Research Company suggests that around 4.34 million cubic meters of gas is flared each day.

Although flaring could be part of the testing procedures at the Portovaya LNG plant or a lack of coordination between the different operating segments, experts said that “the likely magnitude and duration of this period of continuous flaring are quite extreme”.

The Portovaya plant, located northwest of Saint Petersburg and scheduled to start up later this year, is near a compressor station at the start of the Nord Stream 1 undersea gas pipeline from Russia at Germany.

The supply was cut for 10 days in July when the large pipeline was undergoing annual maintenance, and although it has since resumed, gas flow is running at one-fifth of capacity.

Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy company, cited faulty or delayed equipment as the main reason behind it.

Germany disputes this, saying it is a pretext and that Moscow is using the gas as a weapon to fend off Western pressure on its invasion of Ukraine – fueling soaring prices and the worsening cost of living crisis before winter.

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Russia denies this and says Western sanctions are the reason for the high gas prices.

Scientists are also concerned about the amounts of carbon dioxide and soot created by the Portovaya LNG plant.

“The transport of emitted black carbon northward, where it settles on snow and ice and greatly accelerates melting, is of particular concern with flaring at arctic latitudes,” Professor Matthew Johnson, from Carleton University in Canada.

“Some highly cited estimates already place flaring as the primary source of black carbon deposition in the Arctic and any increase in flaring in this region is particularly unwelcome.”

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