Russia warns over gas supply from Nord Stream, stoking European fears

Russia warns over gas supply from Nord Stream, stoking European fears
Russia warns over gas supply from Nord Stream, stoking European fears
  • Nord Stream streams interrupted for three days this week
  • Gas deliveries are expected to resume at 01:00 GMT on Saturday
  • Russia blames sanctions for pipeline disruptions
  • According to Brussels, Moscow uses gas as an economic weapon

September 2 (Reuters) – Russia said on Friday gas deliveries through one of the main supply routes to Europe, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, remained at risk as only one turbine was operational, aggravating European concerns as she struggles to get enough fuel for the winter. .

Nord Stream 1, which runs under the Baltic Sea to supply Germany and others, was operating at 20% capacity even before flows were interrupted for three days this week for maintenance. Deliveries are due to resume on Saturday at 01:00 GMT.

Moscow blames sanctions, imposed by the West after Russia invaded Ukraine, for hampering routine operations and maintenance of Nord Stream 1. Brussels says this is a pretext and that Russia is using gas as an economic weapon to fight back.

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European Union Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc should impose a price cap on the Russian gas pipeline to foil what she said were attempts by Russian President Vladimir Putin to manipulate the market . Read more

Gas prices have soared, hurting European industry and households, rising first due to the post-pandemic demand recovery and then due to the Ukraine crisis.

“We see that the electricity market is no longer functioning because it is massively disrupted due to Putin’s manipulations,” Von der Leyen said, adding that a gas price cap on Russian pipeline supplies could be proposed. at the European level.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow would cut off deliveries to Europe if Brussels imposed such a cap.

Reduced deliveries through Nord Stream, alongside falling gas flows through Ukraine, another major route, has left European states struggling to fill storage tanks for the winter and prompted many to trigger contingency plans that could lead to energy rationing.

“RESOURCES LACK”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added on Friday to concerns that there could be more disruptions to deliveries via Nord Stream from Gazprom (GAZP.MM), the state-controlled energy giant.

“There are no technological reserves, one turbine is working, so think about it yourself,” Peskov said when asked if more breakdowns could be expected in the pipeline.

“It’s not Gazprom’s fault if the resources are lacking. Therefore, the reliability of the whole system is at risk,” he said.

Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller said on Wednesday the sanctions meant Siemens Energy (ENR1n.DE), a supplier of pipeline equipment, could not carry out regular maintenance. Read more

Siemens Energy, which normally maintains the Nord Stream 1 turbines, said it was not involved in the maintenance work currently being carried out by Gazprom. He also said he was ready to help if needed and said maintenance was excluded from penalties.

EU governments have braced for the possibility of Russia halting supplies altogether, after Gazprom first cut flows in June and then again in July. This week’s maintenance shutdown was announced at short notice.

Germany, which has been particularly dependent on Russian supplies in the past, rushed to set up temporary liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to ship gas, before building permanent LNG facilities.

German storage tanks are now nearly 85% full, on track to meet the October 1 target ahead of schedule. But Berlin says it would still be difficult to reach its 95% target by November 1 unless businesses and households use less fuel.

The EU as a whole has exceeded its 80% storage target by October 1, ready for when heating use resumes.

Some energy-intensive European companies, such as fertilizer and aluminum producers, have already cut production due to sky-high electricity prices, while some European domestic consumers have limited their consumption to save on rising household energy bills.

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Reports from Reuters offices; Editing by Edmund Blair and Carmel Crimmins

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

. Russia puts guard against supply gas North Stream stoking European fears

. Russia warns gas supply Nord Stream stoking European fears

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