The Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been a big topic in recent weeks. This pipeline, which brings gas from Russia to the European Union, has recently experienced several transport restrictions, whether due to repairs or force majeure.
Further reductions in transport capacity are imminent
According to a Gazprom statement, the daily capacity at Russia’s Portovaya compressor station will be reduced to 33 million cubic meters per day on 27 July due to the maintenance of another turbine.
— Gazprom (@GazpromEN) July 25, 2022
33 million cubic meters per day is about 20% of capacity. The pipeline is currently operating at about 40% of capacity and deliveries are around 67 million cubic meters per day.
Gazprom reduced deliveries to about 40% of capacity in mid-June. It cited technical problems related to a compressor turbine that partner German company Siemens Energy sent to Canada for repairs. But the equipment could not be returned from Canada because of sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. German officials rejected this explanation, while Siemens Energy confirmed it. Canada then decided on an exemption from the sanctions that allowed the turbine to return to Europe.
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The pipeline was out of service for 10 days this month for scheduled maintenance. It resumed operations last week, but the volume of shipments remained at 40%.
Any other interruption in supply would not be good for Europe
Politicians in Europe have repeatedly warned that Russia could cut off gas supplies this winter, which could cause the German economy to fall into recession and cause gas prices for consumers to rise sharply. And it is not just Germany that would be in trouble, but the European GDP could fall by up to 1.5%.
Germany was forced last week to save Uniper, Russia’s biggest gas importer. Russia insists it is a reliable energy supplier and rejects Western accusations that it is using energy to blackmail Europe. Moscow says the EU’s supply problems are self-inflicted by its own restrictions.