Russia-Ukraine updates: Gazprom to shut Nord Stream 1 pipeline for three days
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which supplies Russian gas to Europe, will shut down for three days, Gazprom said. Ukraine’s nuclear company believes Russia will carry out a “provocation” at the Zaporizhzhia plant.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which supplies gas from Russia to Europe under the Baltic Sea, will be shut down from August 31 to September 2 for maintenance, Gazprom said on Friday.
“It is necessary to carry out maintenance every 1,000 hours” of operation, the Russian majority state-owned energy company said in a statement.
“On August 31, 2022, the only Trent 60 gas compression unit will be stopped for three days for maintenance” involving technicians from Germany’s Siemens, Gazprom said.
Following the maintenance, flows of 33 million cubic meters a day will resume, it added. This corresponds to 20% of the pipeline’s daily maximum output, as Nord Stream 1’s full capacity is 167 million cubic meters per day.
Due to previous allegedly necessary repairs, Gazprom had drastically reduced gas deliveries to Germany because of an absent turbine. German officials have repeatedly said the move was an attempt by Russia to punish Germany for its stance on the war in Ukraine and for imposing sanctions on Russia.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February, Berlin has rushed to wean itself off Russian gas. Across Germany, gas storage levels are at 78%, according to data from European gas storage operators. However, Germany’s dependence on Russian gas has raised serious concerns about energy shortages during the cold winter months.
- Earlier on Friday, Wolfgang Kubicki, deputy leader of the Free Democrats (FDP), a junior coalition partner in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government, suggested that opening Russia’s blocked Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline could be the answer to a looming energy emergency in the winter. However, his statements met with widespread criticism, including from his own FDP.
After Gazprom’s announcement, European gas prices soared to a new record high at the close of trading on Friday. The Dutch TTF Gas Futures contract jumped to a closing high of €257.40 ($258.30) amid fears of winter energy shortages.