Russian oil giant Gazprom has delayed a scheduled Saturday date to restart flow through an important gas pipeline that supplies Europe due to an oil leak within the Nord Stream 1 pipeline discovered during maintenance.
The company had closed the pipeline Wednesday to allow for what was three days of work, however, it said in a news post published on Friday night that it had found “malfunctions” of the turbine.
“Gas transmission through Nord Stream pipeline Nord Stream pipeline has been completely shut down until operating issues in the pipeline are fixed,” Gazprom said in an announcement, but did not provide the date on which the flow will resume.
The move will increase Europe’s difficulty in finding enough fuel to last through the coming winter cold and Nord Stream 1 will supply much-needed fuel to Germany as well as other European countries.
Moscow is blaming sanctions placed on it on the West after the Russian attack on Ukraine to hinder regular maintenance of the pipeline. However, certain European Union officials have accused Russia of making use of energy to bolster its military.
“This could be part of the Russian psychological warfare towards us.” said Michael Roth chairman of the German foreign policy committee.Siemens Energy which frequently keeps in good repair Nord Stream 1 turbines, announced this Friday the leak Gazprom claimed had been discovered generally did not warrant a reason to stop gas flow because its repair was within the realm the maintenance tasks.
“Such leaks are not likely to interfere with the operation of turbines and may be sealed at the location,” The company stated in an announcement. “In the past as well, the occurrence of this kind of leak hasn’t caused a disruption or halt in operations.”
In addition, stating that it is currently not contracted to address this particular maintenance issue Siemens stated that it has “pointed repeatedly that there were enough turbines at Portovaya compressor station Portovaya compressor station to allow Nord Stream 1 to operate”.
From August 20, 2021 on, gas wholesale prices have shot up by 400 percent putting pressure on European both consumers and industry since the restrictions on pandemics were lifted. The situation the situation deteriorated following Russia attacked Ukraine during February.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen had suggested that the Commission impose an price limit for Russian pipeline gas to combat what she claimed were Russian Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s “manipulations”.
The former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned that Russia will cut off its supply to Europe in the event that the EU puts in place a similar price limit.
The slowed Nord Stream deliveries as well as the restricted gas flow through Ukraine another major route, has caused European countries in a frenzy to fill their tanks of storage for winter.
A number of countries are contemplating implementing emergency measures that will force household and business owners to limit and reduce their consumption of energy. A few important European companies, including aluminum and fertiliser companies have already cut their output due to the rising costs of energy.
In response to Gazprom’s decision Friday, Germany’s regulatory body for networks declared that Germany was more prepared to handle interruptions of Russian supplies, however it cautioned that both businesses and individuals must cut down on their use.
“It’s positive it’s good that Germany is now more prepared, but it’s now all up to every person,” Klaus Mueller, the president of the Bundesnetzagentur Bundesnetzagentur tweeted.
This was confirmed by a spokeswoman from the ministry of economy in an announcement that “the market for gas market is very tense however, the security of supply is assured”.
The spokeswoman declined to discuss what was the “substance” that Gazprom’s statement reveals. But she did say that Germany had “already observed Russia’s lack of reliability over the last several weeks”.
Following the fact that Gazprom reduced deliveries in June, and then increased them after that in July, EU officials have been anticipating that Russia might stop deliveries altogether.
The following day, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller claimed that the sanctions of the West against Russia had stopped Siemens Energy, a pipeline equipment manufacturer, from carrying out regular maintenance.
“It’s not the responsibility that of Gazprom for the fact that resources aren’t there,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated prior to Friday. “Therefore the security of the whole system is in danger.”