Nord Stream 1 pipeline to be shut down for three days in latest fuel hit to Europe

  • The pipeline will stop from August 31 to September 1. 2 for maintenance
  • Disclosure occurs when gas flows have been reduced to 20%
  • The movement increases Europe, the Moscow energy showdown

FRANKFURT/BERLIN, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Russia will stop natural gas supplies to Europe for three days at the end of the month through its main gas pipeline in the region, state energy giant Gazprom said. (GAZP.MM) he said Friday, piling pressure on the region as it looks to refuel ahead of winter.

Unscheduled maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany, deepens an energy standoff between Moscow and Brussels that has already helped drive up inflation in the region and raised the risk of rationing and recession.

Gazprom said the shutdown was because the pipeline’s only remaining compressor requires maintenance. Gas flows through other pipeline routes have also slowed since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, in what Moscow calls a “special military operation.”

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

The move will bring more disruption, particularly for Germany, which relies heavily on deliveries from Moscow to boost its industry. The European Union has accused Russia of using energy as a weapon. Moscow has denied the accusation and has blamed the sanctions for the drop in exports.

“We are monitoring the situation closely with the Federal Network Agency,” a spokesman for Germany’s economics ministry said. The Biden administration did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The closure, which will run from August 31 to September 1. 2, follows a 10-day maintenance restriction in July and raised fears that Russia would resume supplies, which have been reduced since mid-June.

Ukraine’s gas transmission system operator said Poland’s gas pipeline system has the capacity to compensate for the disruption of the Nord Stream and allow Russian gas to reach Europe.

Germany has had to give Uniper (UN01.DE) – its largest importer of Russian gas and the highest-profile corporate victim of Europe’s energy crisis so far – a 15 billion euro ($15.1 billion) bailout after Russia slashed flows, causing the forced to buy gas elsewhere at much higher prices. read more

Germany’s broader economic impact was highlighted in Friday’s producer price data, which in July saw their biggest increases, both year-on-year and monthly, as energy costs soared.

The Nord Stream pipeline had already been running at just a fifth of capacity, stoking fears that Russia could stop flows entirely before the winter heating season and make it harder to fill storage facilities.

Before Gazprom announced the shutdown, European gas prices hovered near five-month highs, while US gas prices reversed course and settled down 1.2% on the news.

GERMAN DEPENDENCY

Germany has made targeted efforts to fill its storage facilities to prepare for winter with levels of 78% as of August 17, slightly higher than 76% for the European Union as a whole.

Once maintenance is complete, and “in the absence of technical failures”, flows of 33 million cubic meters (mcm) per day will resume, in line with current volumes, Gazprom said.

The restart volume would be only 20% of the total Nord Stream capacity of 167 mcm per day.

Gazprom said maintenance work on the remaining Trent 60 gas compressor station would be carried out together with Siemens Energy. (ENR1n.DE)
. The Russian firm has previously blamed faulty or delayed equipment for lower flows. Germany says this is a pretext to damage its economy.

Siemens, which is in charge of maintaining the Nord Stream 1 turbines, declined to comment.

One of the Nord Stream 1 turbines is stuck in Germany after undergoing maintenance in Canada. Germany has said it could be transported, but Moscow continues to say that sanctions have prevented the equipment from being shipped back to Russia. read more

Previously, top German politicians had rejected suggestions that gas shortages could be eased by allowing the suspended Nord Stream 2 pipeline to come into service, something the Kremlin has suggested as a solution.

“I strongly suggest that we save ourselves the humiliation of always asking (Russian President Vladimir) Putin for something that we are not going to get,” said Kevin Kuehnert, a number two official in Foreign Minister Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats.

“The dependency on him has to end once and for all,” he added in an interview with the website t-online.

($1 = 0.9958 euros)

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Information from Christoph Steitz and Thomas Escritt; Edited by Kirsten Donovan, David Holmes and Marguerita Choy

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.