Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeOil & GasGazprom cannot guarantee Nord Stream pipeline will work
Powered by

Gazprom cannot guarantee Nord Stream pipeline will work

Russian energy giant Gazprom said it cannot guarantee the functioning of Nord Stream, saying it did not know if a critical turbine engine would be returned from repair in Canada.

On Monday, Gazprom started a 10-day long annual maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Germany’s main source of Russian gas. Germany halted the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline project, designed to double the flow of Russian gas to the country, as a consequence of Russian aggression in Ukraine. However, it kept the Nord Stream 1 pipeline running, which transports 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year of gas to the country under the Baltic Sea.

Germany is now waiting nervously to see if the taps will be turned back on, particularly after Gazprom reduced the gas flow through Nord Stream 1 by 60 per cent last month.

Gazprom cited technical problems involving a gas turbine powering a compressor station that German industrial giant Siemens sent to Canada for overhaul. However, the turbine could not be returned because of sanctions imposed on Russia.

Canada then announced to exempt the return of the turbines from its Russian sanctions in order to help Germany and other European countries in the short term.

However, Gazprom said yesterday it does not possess any documents that would enable Siemens to get the gas turbine engine out of Canada where that engine is currently undergoing repairs.

“In these circumsatnces, it appears impossible to reach an objective conclusion on further developments regarding the safe operations of the Portovaya CS, a facility of critical importance for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline,” reads the statement issued by Gazprom.

The annual work on the gas link was scheduled long in advance, but many worry that Gazprom might seize the opportunity to simply shut off the valves.

Since Monday, Nord Stream 1 is at zero and although the Head of Germany’s network regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur, said that gas supply in Germany is stable at the moment he added that no one can say exactly whether the gas will be switched back on.

In the meantime, Germany, just like the rest of Europe, is rushing to fill its gas storages before this winter. The EU Member States have recently agreed to fill 80 per cent of their storage capacity by 1 November. Germany’s storages are currently 64.6 per cent full.

Sign up for our newsletters

    Monthly newsletter – Delivering the most important energy stories of the month selected by our Editor-in-chief
    Weekly Oil&Gas roundup - All major news about the oil and gas industry, LNG developments, the upscaling of new gases and related EU regulations arriving in your mailbox every Monday.
    Weekly Renewables&Climate roundup - All major news about investments in renewable energy sources, environment protection, green hydrogen and new innovative ways to tackle the climate crisis arriving in your mailbox every Tuesday.

    Most Popular