BERLIN (AP) — Europe’s energy crisis loomed bigger Friday after Russian energy big Gazprom stated it couldn’t resume the availability of pure gas via a serious pipeline to Germany for now. The corporate cited what it stated was a necessity for pressing upkeep work to restore key elements — in an announcement made simply hours earlier than it had been due to restart deliveries.

The Russian state-run energy firm had shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline on Wednesday for what it stated can be three days of upkeep.

It stated in a social media put up on Friday night that it had recognized “malfunctions” of a turbine and added that the pipeline wouldn’t work until these had been eradicated.

The transfer was the newest improvement in a saga wherein Gazprom has superior technical issues as the rationale for lowering gas flows via Nord Stream 1 — explanations that German officers have rejected as a canopy for a political energy play following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

European utilities have scrambled to discover extra provide through the summer season months to prepare for the winter’s heating calls for, shopping for costly liquefied gas that comes by ship, whereas extra provides have come by pipeline from Norway and Azerbaijan.

Fears of a winter scarcity have eased considerably as storage has progressed, however an entire cutoff may current Europe with severe difficulties, analysts say.

The European Union wants to step up efforts to scale back gas consumption, stated energy coverage professional Simone Tagliapietra on the Bruegel assume tank in Brussels.

The persevering with interruptions from Gazprom imply that “a winter with zero Russian gas is the central situation for Europe.” he stated. “There is just one means to put together for that — lowering gas and electrical energy demand.”

Gazprom stated it had recognized oil leaks from 4 generators on the Portovaya compressor station on the Russian finish of the pipeline, together with the only real operational one. It claimed to have obtained warnings from Russia’s industrial security watchdog that the leaks “don’t enable for protected, trouble-free operation of the gas turbine engine.”

“In reference to this, it’s essential to take acceptable measures and droop additional operation of the… gas compressor unit in reference to the recognized gross [safety] violations,” the corporate stated.

Gazprom began chopping provides via Nord Stream 1 in mid-June, blaming delays to the supply of a turbine that had been despatched to Canada for restore. Canada has since allowed the turbine’s supply to Germany, which has stated that nothing stands in the way in which of it being despatched to Russia aside from Russia saying it needs the half.

In latest weeks, Nord Stream 1 has been operating at solely 20% of capability.

Germany’s Siemens Energy, which manufactured the generators, stated following Gazprom’s announcement that “such a discovering just isn’t a technical purpose for stopping operation.”

Morning mild lights the landfall facility of the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the switch station of the OPAL gas pipeline, the Baltic Sea Pipeline Hyperlink, in Lubmin, Germany, July 21, 2022. (AP Picture/Markus Schreiber)

“Such leakages don’t normally have an effect on the operation of a turbine and could be sealed on web site,” it stated in a press release. It added that this “is a routine process throughout upkeep work” and that kind of leakage didn’t lead to operations being shut down prior to now.

Siemens Energy stated it wasn’t presently contracted for upkeep work, however was standing by. “No matter this, we have now already identified a number of occasions that there are sufficient extra generators out there on the Portovaya compressor station for Nord Stream 1 to function,” it added.

Russia, which earlier than the reductions began accounted for a bit greater than a 3rd of Germany’s gas provides, has additionally decreased the circulation of gas to different European international locations which have sided with Ukraine within the conflict.

Pure gas is used to energy business, warmth houses and workplaces, and generate electrical energy. Growing the quantity in reserve has been a key focus of the German authorities since Russia invaded Ukraine, to keep away from rationing as demand rises within the winter.

Germany’s storage amenities at the moment are over 84% full.

The pinnacle of Germany’s community regulatory company, Klaus Mueller, tweeted that the Russian choice to hold Nord Stream 1 switched off for now will increase the importance of latest liquefied pure gas terminals that Germany plans to begin operating this winter, gas storage and “vital wants to save” gas.

A employee places a lid on a pipe on the development web site of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Lubmin, northeastern Germany, March 26, 2019. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP)

It’s “good that Germany is now higher ready, however now it comes down to everybody,” Mueller added.

Germany’s Economic system Ministry stated it had “taken observe” of Gazprom’s newest announcement and wouldn’t touch upon it straight, however added that “we have now already seen Russia’s unreliability in latest weeks” and continued efforts to scale back the nation’s reliance on Russian energy imports.

The European Union has simply reached its objective of filling its gas storage to 80%, forward of a November 1 deadline, regardless of Russian provide cutbacks.


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