Russia Says Nord Stream Gas Supplies Are Still Under Threat, Raising Concerns In Europe

Russia Says Nord Stream Gas Supplies Are Still Under Threat, Raising Concerns In Europe

Pipes at the landfall sections of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in Lubmin, Germany, March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

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  • Nord Stream traffic stopped for three days this week
  • Gas deliveries will resume on Saturday at 01:00 GMT.
  • Russia blames sanctions for pipeline disruption
  • Brussels says Moscow is using gas as an economic weapon

Sept 2 (Reuters) – Russia said on Friday that gas supplies via one of Europe’s main supply routes, the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, remain at risk due to only one turbine running, raising European fears. as she struggles to secure enough fuel for the winter. .

Nord Stream 1, which runs under the Baltic Sea for supplies to Germany and other countries, was running at 20% capacity even before flows were completely shut down for three days this week for maintenance. Deliveries are due to resume on Saturday at 01:00 GMT.

Moscow blames the sanctions imposed by the West after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine of hindering the routine operation and maintenance of Nord Stream 1. Brussels says it’s a pretext, and Russia uses gas as an economic weapon in response.

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“There are no technological reserves, only one turbine is working, so think for yourself,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, when asked if more shutdowns of the pipeline supplied by the Russian energy giant Gazprom can be expected. (GASP.MM).

“It is not Gazprom’s fault that there are not enough resources. Therefore, the reliability of the entire system is at risk,” he said.

Russia continues to insist that it is a reliable energy supplier.

Reduced supplies via Nord Stream, along with reduced flows through Ukraine, another major route, have left European states struggling to replenish storage tanks for the winter and prompted many to initiate contingency plans that could lead to energy rationing.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Wednesday that sanctions mean Siemens Energy. (ENR1n.DE), a pipeline equipment supplier, was unable to perform regular maintenance. read more

Siemens Energy, which routinely maintains the Nord Stream 1 turbines, said it is not involved in the maintenance work that Gazprom is currently doing. He also stated that he was ready to help if needed and stated that maintenance was excluded from the sanctions.

EU governments have been bracing for Russia to cut off supplies entirely after Gazprom first cut flows in June and then again in July. The latest maintenance stop was announced at short notice.

Germany, which has been particularly dependent on supplies from Russia in the past, is rushing to set up temporary liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to offload gas before building permanent LNG facilities.

Storage tanks in Germany are now almost 85% full, allowing the October 1 target to be reached earlier than planned. But Berlin says hitting the 95% target by November 1 will still be difficult unless businesses and households use less fuel.

The EU as a whole has exceeded its target of filling storage by 80% by October 1st to be ready for when heat use rises.

Some European companies, such as fertilizer and aluminum producers, have already cut production due to sky-high gas prices, while some European domestic consumers have also cut electricity consumption to save on rising household electricity bills.

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Reporting by Reuters journalists; Editing by Edmund Blair

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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