The Nord Stream 1 pipeline will be closed for three days, which will increase pressure on Europe

The unscheduled repairs to the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany, exacerbate the energy standoff between Moscow and Brussels, which has already fueled inflation in the region and heightened the risk of rationing and recession.

Gazprom said the three-day shutdown was because the pipeline’s only remaining gas compressor needed maintenance, but the move would cause further disruption, especially for Germany, which is heavily dependent on supplies from Moscow to power its industry.
The latest closure follows a 10-day scheduled annual maintenance that took place in July and raised concerns about whether Russia will resume supplies that have been cut since mid-June.
Germany has already been forced to provide Uniper — its largest importer of Russian gas and Europe’s most notorious corporate victim of the energy crisis — with a €15 billion ($15.1 billion) bailout after Russia drastically cut flows, forcing it to buy gas. elsewhere at much higher prices.

The broader impact on the German economy was highlighted in Friday’s producer price data, which posted its highest-ever gains on both an annualized and monthly basis in July as energy prices soared.

German dependency

The Nord Stream pipeline was already running at only a fifth of its capacity, raising fears that Russia could completely shut down gas flows ahead of the winter heating season and make it difficult to fill storage facilities.

Germany has made a concerted effort to fill its vaults to prepare, and as of August 17, the rate was 78.19%, slightly more than the 75.89% for the European Union as a whole.

According to Gazprom, after the repair is completed and “in the absence of technical problems,” the supply of 33 million cubic meters per day – in accordance with current volumes – will resume.

This still represents only 20% of Nord Stream’s total capacity of 167 Mcm/d.

Gazprom announced that the repair work at the remaining gas compressor station Trent 60 will be carried out jointly with Siemens. The Russian group has previously blamed faulty or delayed equipment for the slowdown. Germany says this is a pretext to hurt its economy.

Siemens Energy, which is responsible for servicing the Nord Stream 1 turbines, declined to comment.

Earlier, senior German politicians from the ruling parties rejected proposals that gas shortages could be alleviated by allowing the suspended Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to come online, which the Kremlin offered as a solution.

“I strongly recommend that we spare ourselves the humiliation of constantly asking (Russian President Vladimir) Putin for something that we won’t get,” said Kevin Künert, second spokesman for Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats.

“Dependence on it must stop once and for all,” he added in an interview with t-online.

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