the giant Gazprom extended the suspension of Nord Stream until the repair of a turbine

The Russian giant Gazprom announced, Friday evening September 2, that the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which will resume service on Saturday after maintenance, finally “perfect” stopped until the repair of a turbine in this important pipe for the supply of Europeans.

In a statement, Gazprom said it was discovered “oil leak” of the turbine, during this maintenance operation at a compressor station located in Russia. “Until the repair (…)gas transportation via Nord Stream is completely suspended”said the group, without specifying how long it would take to repair it.

This rebound will further raise concerns among Europeans, who are struggling to avoid an energy crisis this winter and have accused Moscow of using gas as a weapon to retaliate against Western sanctions after Russian offensive in Ukraine.

Also read: Suspended deliveries, replenishing stocks, risk of shortages: eight questions about gas supply in France

Maintenance operations

The Gazprom group had to resume its gas deliveries on Saturday through the Nord Stream, which connects Russia to northern Germany, after a new three-day stoppage for these maintenance operations.

Gazprom claims to have discovered it “oil leak” during a technical inspection carried out with representatives of the German group Siemens, which manufactures the turbine. The Russian group reported this oil leak in the “cables connected to speedometers on a rotor”. On Telegram, the group posted a photo showing cables surrounded by brownish liquid.

These technical problems prevent us from ensuring “safe operation of gas turbine engine”supports Gazprom, relying on a warning from the Russian Civil Industry Monitoring Agency.

Earlier in the day, the Kremlin claimed that only one turbine was operating there and the Nord Stream activity was “threatened” by the lack of spare parts due to sanctions against Moscow. Moscow claimed in particular that these sanctions prevented the return of a Siemens turbine that had been sent to Canada for repair. Germany, where the turbine is located, has assured that Russia is preventing the return of this key piece.

Turbine maker Siemens Energy said Friday that the leak was not technically the reason for the pipeline shutdown. “As a turbine manufacturer, we can confirm that such a finding is not a technical reason to stop operations”Siemens Energy said in a statement, noting that in the past the appearance “This type of leak does not lead to the cessation of operations”.

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“We can no longer rely on Russia or Gazprom”

Since the start of the Kremlin’s military intervention in Ukraine, at the end of February, Russia has stopped its gas supplies, through other pipelines, to some countries of the European Union, such as Bulgaria and Poland. And, in July, Gazprom has already done the ten-day maintenance of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which has been restarted, but with a further reduction in deliveries.

A German official ruled out the disruption this week “technically incomprehensible”who saw it as a political maneuver by Russia. “We can no longer rely on Russia or Gazprom” to respect their commitments to deliver gas, repeated this week the Minister of Economy, Robert Habeck.

Now it seems that fears of a complete stoppage of deliveries to Russia as the arrivals of winter have been confirmed. To compensate for the lost volume, Europeans are trying to find other suppliers and reduce their consumption, against a backdrop of rising gas prices in the markets and the specter of recession.

A total cut from Russian gas could cut French growth at some point, said the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire. In Germany, activity is expected to contract in the second half, weighed down by the impact of rising energy prices in the strong industrial sector. In Europe’s largest economy, however, the threat of gas shortages this winter appears to be receding. The country is struggling to reduce its dependence on Russia, which still accounted for 55% of gas imports in February.

Projects to install several floating terminals for the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have seen a marked acceleration in Germany: the first two units should be operational this winter. A diversification that “helps get through the winter without major disruptions”according to the German Ministry of Economics.

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The World with AFP

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