Energy: Gazprom further restricts supplies via Nord Stream 1

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Gazprom further restricts supplies via Nord Stream 1

Russia seems to be planning further cuts in gas supplies

Gas supplies from Russia are set to tighten further. The Russian news agency Tass informed about it. WELT reporter Christoph Wanner suspects political motivation. It could be Russia’s direct reaction to Chancellor Scholz’s trip to Kiev.

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Russia is further restricting gas supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline. As of Thursday morning, only a maximum of 67 million cubic meters will be pumped daily, Gazprom said on Wednesday. Gas reserves could actually dwindle next winter.

DRussia’s Gazprom energy group is once again reducing its maximum gas supply through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from the Baltic Sea to Germany. As of Thursday morning, only a maximum of 67 million cubic meters will be pumped daily, Gazprom said on Wednesday afternoon. The Russian state-owned company again justified this step by delays in repairs by Siemens. Therefore, another gas compression device had to be shut down, he said. The wholesale price of gas has risen sharply.

Gazprom announced on Tuesday that it will reduce the maximum volume of supplies by 40 percent to originally up to 100 million cubic meters of gas per day. This corresponds to about 60 percent of the previously planned daily volume of 167 million cubic meters of gas. A little later, the Federal Network Agency rejected Gazprom’s statement that the delay in repairing the gas compressor unit was the reason for the reduced gas supply volumes.

For Germany, Nord Stream 1 is the main supply pipeline with Russian gas. The Yamal-Europe route, which runs through Poland, was not previously filled. The transit of Russian gas through Ukraine has also decreased. As a result of previous restrictions, energy prices have risen, among other things, because overall, less gas is flowing from Russia to Europe.

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Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has previously called the 40 percent reduction in Russian gas supplies politically motivated. He also has the impression that “what happened yesterday is a political decision, not a decision that is technically justifiable,” Habeck said in Berlin on Wednesday.

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Gazprom announced on Tuesday that it will reduce gas volumes through the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic Sea by 40 percent. The reason is the delay in repairs by Siemens on the gas compressor unit. The energy technology group Siemens Energy has confirmed the overhaul of the gas turbine. Due to sanctions imposed by Canada, it cannot be returned from Montreal at this time.

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Habeck took a step forward with the previous suspension of gas supplies to Bulgaria, Poland and Denmark and sanctions for Gazprom Germania. The green politician spoke of a gradual or gradual approach. “In Germany, we have (…) no supply problem,” Habeck assured. We have to wait and see the effects. So far, suppliers have always succeeded in “obtaining gas from other sources”.

A spokeswoman for Habeck said that after the move at Nord Stream, efforts to fill gas tanks in Germany would not decrease. According to the spokesperson, gas storage levels are currently around 56 percent. From today, it will continue to save. The situation must, of course, be closely monitored.

The wholesale price of gas rose sharply after the announcement of a further reduction on Wednesday. On Wednesday afternoon (15:34), natural gas delivered on the Dutch TTF trading platform cost 108.6 euros per megawatt-hour in July, after 97 euros the day before. On Monday, the price was 83.4 euros, on Wednesday a week ago 79.4 euros. The price fluctuates a lot. On March 7, it was 206.9 euros. A year ago, on June 15, 2021, a megawatt-hour of July’s natural gas cost € 18.9.

The bottlenecks of this winter?

The bottlenecks are still not threatened, but gas supplies could shrink next winter: energy supplies in Germany are now being secured, state parliamentary secretary Michael Kellner (Greens) told RTL / ntv on Wednesday. Gas storage facilities in Germany are currently more than 50 percent full. “That’s good, but it’s not enough for next winter,” Kellner said.

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Therefore, gas storage needs to be encouraged. He did not want to speculate about the current cut in gas supplies from Russia via the Baltic gas pipeline Nord Stream 1, Kellner said. “Regular maintenance work” takes place on the pipeline every summer.

The Ministry of Economy is trying to find out whether the current decline in gas supplies through the pipeline is related to this.

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Gazprom Germania, which has been in administration since the beginning of April, also plays an important role in gas supplies in Germany, Kellner said.

The company is “essential for security of supply in the country as well as for stability and contracts”, but it is under financial pressure due to Russian sanctions. The federal government has therefore decided to support the company with a loan of nine to ten billion euros.

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