Russia’s Gazprom says it can not restart key fuel pipelines to Germany

Europe’s vitality disaster took a flip for the more serious on Friday after Russian vitality big Gazprom stated it couldn’t resume pure fuel provides by means of a serious pipeline to Germany. By restarting distributions.

Russia’s state-run vitality firm shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline on Wednesday for what it stated was three days of upkeep.

It stated in a social media submit on Friday night that it had recognized “failures” in one of many generators and that the pipeline wouldn’t work except they have been eliminated.

It is the most recent growth in a sequence of sagas through which Gazprom has cited technical issues with reducing fuel flows by means of Nord Stream 1 — explanations German officers have dismissed as cowl for a political energy play following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

European utilities are scrambling to seek out further provides in the summertime months to arrange for winter heating wants, shopping for costly liquefied fuel that arrives by ship, whereas extra provides have arrived by pipeline from Norway and Azerbaijan.

See | EU governments attain an settlement on fuel provide:

EU governments attain deal on fuel provide

EU nations have agreed to a plan to voluntarily cut back fuel consumption by 15 % this winter. The deal comes after Russia’s state-owned vitality firm Gazprom stated it will additional reduce fuel flows by means of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany.

Fears of winter shortages have eased considerably as pure fuel storage has improved, however analysts say a whole cutoff may go away Europe in dire straits.

Simone Tagliapietra, an vitality coverage skilled on the Bruegel assume tank in Brussels, stated the EU ought to step up efforts to scale back fuel consumption.

“A winter with zero Russian fuel is the central scene in Europe,” he stated, with continued interruptions from Gazprom. “There’s just one strategy to put together for it: lowering fuel and electrical energy demand.”

The corporate cites the issue with the generators

Gazprom stated it had detected oil leaks from 4 generators on the Bordovaya compressor station on the Russian finish of the pipeline, together with the one operational one. It stated it acquired warnings from Russia’s industrial security watchdog that the leaks “don’t permit secure, trouble-free operation of the fuel turbine engine.”

“On this regard, it’s essential to take acceptable motion and cease additional operation of the fuel compressor unit in respect of the whole quantity recognized. [safety] Violations,” the corporate stated.

Gazprom started reducing provides by means of Nord Stream 1 in mid-June, delaying the supply of a turbine despatched to Canada for repairs. Canada authorized turbine deliveries to Germany, saying there was nothing stopping them from being despatched to Russia, saying Russia needed the half.

In current weeks, Nord Stream 1 has been working at solely 20 % capability.

Following Gazprom’s announcement, Germany’s Siemens Vitality, which manufactured the generators, stated “such a discovery shouldn’t be a technical purpose to cease operation”.

“Such leaks don’t usually have an effect on the operation of a turbine and may be sealed on the web site,” it stated in an announcement, including that it’s “a routine process throughout upkeep work” and doesn’t trigger these sorts of leaking operations. Closed prior to now.

Siemens Vitality shouldn’t be at the moment contracted for upkeep work, however stands by. “No matter this, now we have already identified a number of occasions that there are sufficient extra generators on the Portovaya compressor station to maintain Nord Stream 1 working,” it added.

‘Russia’s Unreliability’

Russia has reduce fuel flows to different European nations that supported Ukraine within the battle earlier than reducing a 3rd of Germany’s fuel provides.

Pure fuel is used to energy business, warmth houses and places of work, and generate electrical energy. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the German authorities’s predominant focus has been to extend the quantity in stockpiles to keep away from rationing to business as demand rises within the winter.

Germany’s storage amenities are actually greater than 84 % full.

A fuel storage plant is pictured close to Etterfeld, Germany on July 14. (Michael Probst/The Related Press)

Klaus Müller, head of Germany’s community regulator, stated the Russian determination to close down Nord Stream 1 in the meanwhile will increase the significance of recent liquefied pure fuel terminals that can begin working this winter, fuel storage and “vital wants to avoid wasting fuel.

“It is good that Germany is best ready now, however now it comes all the way down to everybody,” he stated.

Germany’s economic system ministry stated it had “taken word” of Gazprom’s newest announcement, wouldn’t remark straight on it, however stated “now we have already seen Russia’s credibility in current weeks” and continued efforts to scale back the nation’s reliance on Russian vitality imports.

“These are actually tough occasions however we are going to proceed to strengthen preparations,” the ministry stated in an announcement. “Main efforts are nonetheless wanted, however we’re properly on our strategy to tackling the scenario.”

Regardless of Russian provide cuts, the EU has met its aim of filling 80 % of its fuel storage forward of the Nov. 1 deadline.

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