Gas: Nord Stream stopped “additionally” until the repair of a turbine

Gas: Nord Stream stopped “additionally” until the repair of a turbine

The gas pipeline was to resume service on Saturday after a maintenance operation.

Illustrative photo. HANNIBAL HANSCHKE / REUTERS

The Russian giant Gazprom announced Friday September 2 that the Nord Stream gas pipeline, vital for deliveries in Europe, will be “completely” stopped until the repair of a turbine, while it was to resume service on Saturday after a maintenance operation.

In a statement, Gazprom said it discovered “oil leaks” in the turbine during this maintenance operation. “Until the repair (…) the transport of gas via Nord Stream is completely suspended”, indicated the group.

Russia was due to resume gas deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline on Saturday, after another three-day hiatus that has strained the nerves of Europeans, engaged in a race against time to avoid an energy crisis this winter. On Friday, Gazprom assured that it had discovered these technical problems during a technical inspection carried out with representatives of the German group Siemens, which manufactured the turbine. The Russian group reports an “oil leak” on “cables connected to speedometers of a rotor”. On Telegram, the group posted a photo showing cables surrounded by a brownish liquid. Earlier in the day, the Kremlin claimed that the operation of the Nord Stream gas pipeline was “threatened” by a shortage of spare parts due to sanctions aimed at Moscow for its offensive in Ukraine.

Since the start of the Kremlin’s military intervention in Ukraine at the end of February, Moscow has sharply reduced its gas deliveries to Europeans, in reaction to massive Western sanctions. The Europeans, very dependent on Russian gas, accuse the Kremlin of using it as a means of pressure, which Moscow refutes, which evokes technical problems caused by the sanctions or late payments. In particular, Russia claims that the sanctions prevent the return of a Siemens turbine that had been sent to Canada for repair. Germany, where the turbine is located, ensures on the contrary that it is Moscow which is blocking the return of this key piece.

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