Saturday, February 4, 2023
HomeBusinessRussia shuts another major gas pipeline to Europe

Russia shuts another major gas pipeline to Europe

Due to the necessity for maintenance, Russia has fully stopped supplying gas to Europe via a significant pipeline.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline will be restricted for the next three days, according to Russian state-owned oil company Gazprom.

Russia already considerably cut down on pipeline-based gas shipments.

It also denies claims that energy supplies were used to penalize Western countries for enacting sanctions in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

From the Russian coast at St. Petersburg to northeastern Germany, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline travels 1,200 km (745 miles) under the Baltic Sea.

It started operating in 2011 and has a daily maximum capacity of 170 million cubic meters of gas from Russia to Germany.

The pipeline has lately been functioning at only 20% capacity due to what Russia says as defective equipment. The pipeline was shut down for 10 days in July, again for maintenance, according to Russia.

European politicians worry that Russia may prolong the disruption in an effort to raise gas prices further, which have already increased by 400%.

Over the winter, the sharp increase in living expenses raises the possibility that governments may be forced to spend billions of dollars to reduce the burden.

Agnes Pannier-Runacher, the French Minister of Transition for Energy, charged Russia on Tuesday of “using gas as a weapon of war.”

She said after Gazprom announced it would stop supplying gas to the French energy firm Engie.

The spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, has denied the charges and argued that the outages are the result of Western sanctions harming Russian infrastructure.

Without elaborating, he emphasized that only “technical obstacles” brought on by Western sanctions hinder Russia from providing gas via the pipeline.

The most recent dispute was a turbine that was refurbished in Canada before being sent to Germany. Russia refused to accept the turbine back, claiming it was subject to Western sanctions.

Germany disputes this, however.

Robert Habeck, the economy minister, said earlier this month that the pipeline was completely functioning and that there were no technical problems, unlike what Russia claimed.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EU Commission, said earlier this week that the energy markets need to be intervened in since they are “no longer fit for purpose” when speaking at a conference in Slovenia.

We need a new electrical market structure that really works and restores equilibrium, she said.

Bob Carlson
Bob Carlson
Bob Carlson is a business journalist, with over a decade of experience in the trenches of reporting up-to-date business news for publications all over the world. With a wealth of knowledge at his back, Bob strives to bring the most important insights into the business world for TheOptic daily.
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