Nord Stream 1 pipeline shuts down amid German suspicion of Russia | Oil and Gas News

The pipeline was scheduled to be out of motion for 10 days, however German’s vitality regulator says it’s unclear when Russia will restart fuel flows.

A serious fuel pipeline from Russia to Germany shut down for annual upkeep on Monday, as Berlin grew involved that Moscow might not resume the stream of fuel as scheduled.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Germany’s foremost supply of Russian fuel, is scheduled to be out of motion till July 21 for routine work that the operator says consists of “testing of mechanical parts and automation programs”.

The operator’s information confirmed the fuel stream dropping as deliberate on Monday morning.

However German officers are suspicious about Russia’s intentions, significantly after Russia’s Gazprom final month decreased the fuel stream by way of Nord Stream 1 by 60 %.

Gazprom cited technical issues involving a fuel turbine powering a compressor station that accomplice Siemens Vitality despatched to Canada for overhaul.

That turbine couldn’t be returned due to sanctions imposed over Russia’s struggle on Ukraine.

Canada stated over the weekend that it could enable the half to be delivered to Germany, citing the “very vital hardship” that the German economic system would endure with out a ample fuel provide.

German politicians have dismissed Russia’s technical rationalization for final month’s discount in fuel flows by way of Nord Stream 1, saying the choice was a political gambit to sow uncertainty and push up costs.

German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck had stated he suspects that Russia might cite “some little technical element” as a motive to not resume fuel deliveries by way of the pipeline after this month’s upkeep.

Nevertheless, a spokesperson for the economic system ministry stated that whereas Germany is in a critical scenario with regards to its fuel provide, the safety of provide is at present assured.

Uncertainty post-maintenance interval

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline transports 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) a 12 months of fuel from Russia to Germany below the Baltic Sea.

The top of Germany’s community regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur, stated “nobody can say precisely” whether or not the fuel will likely be switched again on.

“As anticipated, Nord Stream 1 is at zero since this morning,” Klaus Mueller, head of the Bundesnetzagentur, advised Reuters on Monday.

“What occurs on the finish of the upkeep, no one is ready to say at this second. We received’t know any time ahead of a day earlier than its scheduled finish.”

Mueller stated that fuel customers have lobbied Bundesnetzagentur for precedence therapy within the occasion of potential fuel rationing later within the 12 months.

The regulator would base allocation choices on their social and financial influence and penalties for supply chains, Mueller stated. Such choices can be taken in October with the assistance of an IT platform, he added.

Ukraine and its allies accuse Moscow of utilizing spurious pretexts to strangle fuel flows in retaliation for sanctions over the invasion, which Russia describes as a “particular navy operation”.

The Kremlin denies the manipulation of fuel flows or utilizing vitality as a political weapon.

In the meantime, Germany and the remainder of Europe are scrambling to fill fuel storage in time for winter and scale back their dependence on Russian vitality imports.

Germany, dwelling to Europe’s largest economic system, has been getting about 35 % of its fuel to energy trade and generate electrical energy from Russia.