Status: 07/20/2022 9:00 p.m.
Gas is expected to flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline again on Thursday – but less than before maintenance. The head of the Federal Network Agency expects only 30% of the possible amount.
According to the head of the Federal Network Agency, the Russian gas company Gazprom has reduced the gas delivery volume announced for Thursday via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. According to this, around 530 gigawatt hours would now be delivered, Klaus Müller tweeted. According to him, it would be around 30% occupancy. However, this quantity can still be changed until shortly before the start of delivery.
reduction in a few hours
Prior to scheduled pipeline maintenance, which ended at 6 a.m. Thursday, the pipeline was about 40 percent utilized. On Wednesday afternoon, Müller had said that 800 gigawatt hours were expected and referred to registrations with transmission network operators – the so-called nominations. This would have represented higher utilization than before the maintenance.
Nominations are used by network operators to guarantee transport and may change until shortly before the start of delivery. According to Müller, Gazprom has now made such a renomination.
EU: Probable stoppage of delivery
Nord Stream 1 is the main Russian gas pipeline to Europe. No gas had been delivered for a week and a half due to annual routine maintenance. The federal government fears that Putin will then leave the gas tap turned off. Therefore, a spokeswoman again called for the full resumption of gas supply. This is the contractual obligation of the Russian public company.
According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, a complete shutdown of gas supplies from Russia to the European Union is likely. “We must prepare for a complete disruption of gas supplies to Russia.” Twelve EU countries would no longer be supplied with Russian gas, or only to a limited extent. “Russia is blackmailing us, Russia is using energy as a weapon.”
Putin threatens further cuts
According to Vladimir Putin, a further reduction in the volume of delivery is possible. If Russia does not recover the repaired turbine in Canada, the throughput capacity could still drop significantly at the end of July. “So there’s only 30 million cubic meters a day.” The pipeline can theoretically transport more than 167 million cubic meters per day. Canada recently decided to hand over the turbine to Germany.
Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Economics contradicts the representation that the turbine is an indispensable component; It is rather “a replacement turbine to be used in September”, said a spokeswoman for the ministry. It was an excuse from the Russian side that the gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline had to be throttled due to the maintenance of this turbine.
Putin also referred again to the completed but non-operational Nord Stream 2 pipeline. He said the operation of Nord Stream 2 could lower gas prices. According to observers, it is conceivable that Moscow wants to force Nord Stream 2 into operation by throttling Nord Stream 1.
Berlin sacks Putin
But this hope of the Kremlin risks being in vain. The federal government fired Putin and reaffirmed its position: the pipeline was not certified and therefore not legally authorized. Politicians from the traffic light coalition became clearer: “In view of our real challenges, we are not dealing with such a clumsy blackmail attempt,” said FDP deputy chairman Lukas Koehler. “The Nord Stream 2 problem is solved for a good reason – and that reason is in the Kremlin.”