Following on from Ukraine getting it’s gas shut off (which I mentioned in passing as BBC and Weird Pravda Report on Gas), I thought I’d pedantically point out a small error in a statement from Ukraine.
It’s meaningless as a point, but does emphasise the tit-for-tat nature of the current impasse with Russia (GazProm). Specifically, Russia is claiming that the Ukraine is stealing gas from the (common) pipeline to Europe. See
Here’s What was said:
- Russia says Ukraine steals gas
- Ukraine says it’s only taking gas to “ensure the supply” to Europe…
- The EU customers say they’ve had no reduction in supply
Here’s How it works:
- GazProm stuffs gas in one end of a pipe in Russia with a big pump
- GazProm know how much they’ve sent – with a big meter!
- Europe takes out the gas at the other end
- Europe knows how much they get – with a big meter!
- The two meters agree!
So What’s Going On?
Naftogaz, the Ukraine’s company, says it’s “removing gas for technical purposes, in order to ensure the transit of Russian exports”…
Now here’s the physics. All gases obey “The Gas Laws” which are an amalgamation of various people’s work over the years into one, nice, easy-to-remember, formula which is
Pee times Vee over Tee is a constant
Tee is temperature, on the absolute temperature scale. So 20degC is not twice as hot as 10degC. In fact, it’s only a percent or so, and this is important.
Now use the Gas Laws to check the sums…
Because if Naftogaz are removing gas (i.e. increasing the Vee, Volume on top) to “keep the pressure up” as they say, it implies that the temperature in Europe is a lot colder than in Russia (that would lower the pressure at constant V), or the pipeline in Europe is a lot fatter than the pipeline in Russia (larger volume would lower pressure at constant T).
Or look at it like this: what happens to the tyre pressure when you let air out of a bicycle tyre – it goes down!
This is all plainly bunkum. Someone, somewhere is telling porkie-pies. We know that the Ukraine admit to taking gas out – they’ve actually said so!
So now we have to decide which of the other two parties, Russia or Europe, has the duff meter, or if they’re not duff, what’s going on.?
We have to look to Europe to see why they would say they are getting all the gas they expect to get, when plainly, they’re not! This because both Russia and Ukraine say that gas is being removed from the pipe by Ukraine.
Why would Western Europe say this?
A. Because they don’t want to upset Russia, especially in the depths of winter. Even though, we pay nearly twice the price for it as Ukraine!
Simple really. It’s nothing to do with gas pressure and everything to do with political pressure.