Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Friday it could not resume natural gas supplies through a key pipeline to Germany just yet, due to what it said needed work. urgent maintenance, just a few hours before the resumption of deliveries.
Russia’s state-owned energy company had shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline on Wednesday for what it expected to be three working days.
He said in a social media post on Friday that he had identified “malfunctions” in a turbine and added that the pipeline would not operate unless these were fixed.
It was the latest development in a saga in which Gazprom cited technical problems as the reason for cutting gas flows through Nord Stream 1 – explanations that German officials dismissed as cover for a political power play after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Gazprom said it identified oil leaks from four turbines at the Portovaya compressor station at the Russian end of the pipeline, including the only operational one.
He said he received warnings from Russia’s industrial safety watchdog that the leaks “do not allow safe and trouble-free operation of the gas turbine engine”.
“In this context, it is necessary to take appropriate measures and suspend the operation of the gas compressor unit … in connection with the identified serious (security) violations,” the company said.
Gazprom began cutting supplies via Nord Stream 1 in mid-June, blaming delays in delivering a turbine that had been sent to Canada for repair.
Canada has since cleared delivery of the turbine to Germany, which said there was no objection to sending it to Russia other than Russia saying it wanted the part.
In recent weeks, Nord Stream 1 has only been running at 20% capacity.
Russia, which before the start of the cuts accounted for just over a third of Germany’s gas supplies, has also cut the flow of gas to other European countries that have sided with Ukraine in the war.
Natural gas is used to power industry, heat homes and offices, and generate electricity.
Increasing the amount in reserve has been one of the main goals of the German government since Russia invaded Ukraine, to avoid rationing for industry as demand increases in winter.
German storage facilities are now more than 84% full.
. gas pipeline Russian Gazprom maintains shutdown gas pipeline to Germany