The gradual shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline through which Russian gas flows to Germany has begun. The gas flow is being reduced in order to carry out maintenance work, a spokesman for Nord Stream AG told dpa. In a few hours, the actual flow will be zero.
From The gas flow through Nord Stream 1 decreases at 6 am on Monday. According to the mining company, the renovation works will last until July 21.
Suspension of gas flow to Germany
During these ten days, gas will not be piped to German. Will be checked, among others security, power, fire and gas protection systems as well as shut-off and isolation valves. The software will also be updated.
Nord Stream 1 is of key importance for the supply of Russian natural gas to Germany. Germany fears that the service work may become a pretext for further reduction by Russia gas supplies or their complete cessation.
It was reported over the weekend that Canada will return to Germany the turbine serviced at its home for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, thus making an exception to the sanctions previously imposed on Russia.
Canada’s consent to return the turbine to Nord Stream 1 via Germany, despite the sanctions in force, was accepted by the German government “with relief”. “We welcome the decisions of our Canadian friends and allies,” said the Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Vice-chancellor and economy minister Robert Habeck (the Greens) over the weekend “expressed serious concerns that Putin may use the work to completely cut off gas supplies to Germany.” On Saturday, in an interview with Deutschlandfunk, Habeck spoke of a “nightmare scenario”.
– Anything is possible, anything can happen. (…) It is possible that more gas will flow again, even more than before. But it may also be that nothing will come. We have to be serious about the worst, emphasized Habeck.
Already in June Gazprom significantly reduced the volume of supplies via NS1 – according to the Federal Network Agency, only approx. 40 percent of gas compared to previous years. “The reduced deliveries were justified by the lack of a Siemens Energy turbine, which could not be delivered after maintenance from Canada to Russia due to sanctions,” notes Bild.
“Time to ration gas”
Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl, assessed that “the pause of Nord Stream 1 beats the rhythm of the energy crisis fueled by Gazprom and the specter of further escalation should be taken into account.”
“The EU countries, led by Poland and Germany, will however emerge from the crisis stronger and independent of gas from Russia thanks to effective cooperation creating a field for active EU policy. For now, it is time to ration the gas. Analysts at the Bruegel center suggest that the demand in Poland should drop by a quarter that she should walk on a dry foot through the possible complete stoppage of gas supplies from Russia to Europe “- he stressed.
He added that “gas prices are approaching their highs from the post-Russian attack on Ukraine” and “the fate of Nord Stream 1’s supplies is uncertain despite the concessions on the disputed turbine.” In his opinion, “Gazprom is realizing the Kremlin’s political goal, which is the uncertainty paralyzing the West,” and “it can close the gas tap at any time”.
Jakóbik pointed out that the shutdown of Nord Stream 1 may take longer for the time needed to hand over the turbine to Gazprom. “Gazprom did not need to return it to increase gas supplies to Europe. First, it could use other turbines at its disposal. Second, it could increase supplies via alternative routes, led by Ukrainian. 1 is now most likely marking the next stage of the energy crisis fueled by Russia, the expert assessed.
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