Russia wants to send gas to Europe via alternative route after Nord Stream 1 blockage

Russia wants to send gas to Europe via alternative route after Nord Stream 1 blockage
Credit: Belga/Kurt Desplenter

The Russian state gas company Gazprom is sending natural gas to Europe via a different route, the company reported indicating on Friday that the important Nord Stream 1 pipeline will remain closed for longer due to 'technical problems'.

Today, 42.7 million cubic meters of natural gas flow through Ukraine to Europe through another pipeline. That is slightly more than the 41.3 million cubic meters of natural gas that came through the Sudzha pipeline on Friday, but will not be enough to make up for the gas supplies now missed by the closure of Nord Stream 1, De Morgen writes.

On Wednesday, the pipeline was closed for a three-day maintenance. Two days later, Gazprom reported that it had discovered an oil leak. The company claims to have shut down a pumping system at a compressor station near Portovaya, near the Finnish border. In such a station, gas is put under high pressure so that it can flow through the pipeline through the Baltic Sea to Germany. According to Gazprom, it is impossible to predict when gas will flow through Nord Stream 1 again.

‘Technical problems’

The announcement that the Nord Stream 1 had to close for maintenance was received with scepticism in Europe. Klaus Müller, the boss of the German energy supply regulator Bundesnetzagentur, found that explanation incomprehensible from a technical point of view.

In addition, Germany's Siemens Energy, which normally maintains the Nord Stream 1 turbines, said the pipeline should not be shut down due to an oil leak. The company also stated that there are other turbines in the compressor station to keep the Nord Stream 1 running.

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Gazprom then claimed that there was nowhere for Siemens Energy to carry out the repairs. However, according to Siemens, the work can be performed on site and is “within the limits of routine maintenance work”.

Gazprom already cut gas supplies to Germany via Nord Stream 1 to 20% of maximum capacity before Wednesday’s shutdown. The gas company also gave "technical problems", which the company would not be able to solve due to the Western sanctions, as the reason. European leaders regard turning off the Russian gas tap primarily as a political means of pressure.

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