Gazprom, Russia’s energy giant, announces tightening gas supplies to the European Union through its main pipeline amid the maintenance work. The state-owned multinational energy corporation said that stopping another turbine at the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would decrease daily gas production to twenty percent, cutting the current supply level. Moreover, it is probably tougher for European Union nations to refill their gas storage before winter.
On Monday, Russia announced to cut gas supplies to the European Union through its main pipeline amid maintenance work. Energy giant Gazprom said that supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany would fall to only twenty percent of capacity. #russia #cutgassupply pic.twitter.com/VPWMH6s7Lj
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) July 26, 2022
The Nord Stream gas pipeline, which delivers gas from Russia to Germany, has already run well below capacity for weeks. Earlier this month, the administration completely shut it down for a ten-day maintenance break. In 2021, Moscow supplied the European Union with forty percent of its gas, while the E.U. accused the country of using energy as a weapon.
In addition, the European Commission urged nations to decrease gas use by fifteen percent over the next seven months after Moscow warned it could halt or restrict supplies altogether. Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President, said that the prospect of Moscow cutting off all energy supplies to the European Union is a possible scenario.
Today, energy ministers will meet in Brussels to sign off the plans. However, several opt-outs are projected due to the resistance from some member states. Since Russian forces attacked Ukraine in February, wholesale energy prices have risen, eventually impacting consumer energy bills.
Ukrainian President’s Reaction to Gazprom’s Announcement
Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, reacted to Gazprom’s announcement and said that this was an explicit gas war that Moscow was pursuing against a united Europe. According to the Russian energy giant, the delayed return – because of sanctions – of equipment overhauled in Canada drove it to keep the gas flow through Nord Stream 1 to only forty percent capacity.
Alexei Miller, the CEO of Gazprom, said their product and rules. However, the continuous cut in gas supply through Nord Stream 1 probably makes it more challenging for nations to restock their stores before winter when gas consumption is much higher. The energy corporation has reduced gas supplies to the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Finland, and Bulgaria, over their refusal to comply with a Kremlin order to pay their bills in Russian currency (rubles) instead of dollars or euros.
Russian President Warning
Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, predicted the latest cut in gas supply and warned the West earlier this month that continued sanctions risked triggering catastrophic energy price upsurges at consumers’ end globally. In June, Moscow previously cut flows through Nord Stream from one to forty percent of capacity, referring to the delayed return of a turbine that Siemens Energy serviced in Canada. On the other hand, Germany rejected the explanation.
Afterward, this month, it closed Nord Stream 1 for around ten days of annual maintenance, restarting services last Thursday still at forty percent of normal levels. Additionally, the maintenance of the first turbine is still a matter of conflict as it makes its way back to Moscow through documentation and contradictory statements. According to Gazprom, it received paperwork from Canada and Siemens Energy, but they don’t remove the formerly known risks and raise further concerns.