Posted Jul 20, 2022, 7:23 PM
It’s not a sigh of relief yet, but we’re getting close. While the maintenance period for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline ends this Thursday and Europe remains suspended on whether or not to resume deliveries from Gazprom via this channel, which is the first access route for Russian gas to the European continent. , the German operator of the gas transport network wants to be reassuring.
“We assume that (…) gas transport via Nord Stream will resume at the level before the maintenance period, i.e. 40% of capacity,” the operator said in a press release. Its analysis relies on the data transmitted by its customers, who notify it of their forecasts before making or receiving their deliveries. “The complete restoration of transport may take a few hours and last until the end of the morning of July 21”, however specified Gascade.
“All this can change” until the last moment, nevertheless warned the president of the German Network Agency, Klaus Müller. In recent weeks, Russia has continued to blow hot and cold on the future of deliveries via this gas pipeline, on the Old Continent. However, this channel is essential to hope to fill the gas storages in Europe, which are essential to spend the winter without problems.
A disruption of Gazprom deliveries via Nord Stream 1 would plunge Europe into the unknown and would hit Germany very hard. “If we combine the direct and indirect effects and the uncertainties, closing the gas tap would reduce GDP by 1.5% in 2022, 2.7% in 2023 and 0.4% in 2024”, compared to to a scenario where Germany continues to be supplied with gas, the IMF recently indicated in a report simulating a total stoppage of supplies from Moscow.
Reduced by 60% during the month of June, due, according to Gazprom, to technical problems linked to Siemens turbines, caused by Western sanctions, deliveries via this gas pipeline were interrupted in mid-July, putting pressure on supplies of Europe. However, in Berlin there are fears that Moscow will use this “routine” maintenance as a pretext to permanently cut off the Nord Stream tap.
Repaired in Canada, this turbine was sent back to Germany on Sunday and was due to join the Portovaya compressor station in northwestern Russia at the start of the week. Russian President Vladimir Putin assured Tuesday that the gas giant Gazprom would fully meet its obligations to its suppliers. This Wednesday, however, he hinted that the pipeline could only operate at 20% capacity. Because according to the Russian president, a second turbine must in turn be subject to maintenance at the end of July.