Europe's natural gas flow hit as Gazprom to cut Nord Stream 1 capacity again

·2-min read

Gazprom plans to cut the flow of natural gas to Europe - reducing the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to just 20% of capacity from Wednesday.

The Russian state-owned energy firm said "daily throughput" would be cut from 4am due to necessary equipment repairs.

Russia reduced Nord Stream 1 to 40% of capacity in June and took it offline for a 10 day maintenance break in July, blaming the delayed return of a Siemens turbine being serviced in Canada.

But Germany said that turbine was not meant to be used until September and that it could not see any technical reason for a further supply cut this month.

Gazprom said that it had received papers from Siemens and Canada about the turbine but they "do not remove the previously identified risks and raise additional questions".

"Additionally, there are still open questions from Gazprom regarding the EU and UK sanctions, the resolution of which is important for the delivery of the engine to Russia and the urgent overhaul of other gas turbine engines for the Portovaya compressor station."

Siemens Energy said the missing turbine was ready to be delivered but customs documents needed to get it into Russia were missing.

It said Gazprom, as the customer, was required to provide these.

Reliant on Russian gas

Parts of Europe are reliant on oil and gas from Russia, and Nord Stream 1 is Russia's biggest natural gas link to the continent.

It runs under the Baltic Sea through to Germany, Europe's largest economy, which is particularly dependent on it.

But Europe says Russia has been taking advantage of that dependence, by using its energy supply as a blackmail tool against countries that have imposed sanctions due to the invasion of Ukraine.

There are fears that Russia could cut the flow of gas this winter, sending Germany into recession and pushing prices sky-high for consumers.

Massive energy price rises

Russia's President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that the West's sanctions could bring about massive energy price rises for consumers worldwide.

But the Kremlin has also said it is not interested in stopping gas supplies into Europe completely.

It would cause great pain to some European countries, but it would also mean a loss in revenue for Russia.

Russia is the world's largest exporter of natural gas and the second-largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia.

Europe gets about 40% of its gas and 30% of its oil from Russia.

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