Contrary to what has been announced, no gas will flow through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline from this Saturday. The state-owned company Gazprom announced this on Telegram on Friday evening. The reason is an oil leak in the Portovaya compressor station. The gas flow remains stopped until it is eliminated. It had been expected that gas would flow through the line again from Saturday morning after the announced three-day maintenance work had been completed.
A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Economics said on Friday evening that Gazprom's reports had been taken note of. "We are not commenting on the matter, but we have already seen Russia's unreliability in the past few weeks and accordingly we have continued our measures to strengthen independence from Russian energy imports undeterred and consistently. As a result, we are now much better equipped than we were a few years ago months."
The situation on the gas market is tense, but security of supply is guaranteed, said the spokeswoman. The gas storage facilities are also 84.3 percent full. "The October storage target of 85 percent should therefore already be reached in the first days of September." Good progress is also being made with supply via other delivery routes than Russian pipelines and new landing capacities for liquid gas.
Netzagentur: Precautionary measures important
Klaus Müller, head of the Federal Network Agency, emphasized the importance of the German precautionary measures. "In view of the Russian decision not to let any gas flow via Nord Stream 1 for the time being, the LNG terminals, the relevant storage levels and the need for significant savings are gaining in importance," tweeted Müller on Friday evening. "It's good that Germany is now better prepared, but now it depends on everyone," Müller continued.
Germany now receives by far the most natural gas from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. According to the Federal Network Agency, around 2,900 gigawatt hours of natural gas flowed from these countries to Germany on Thursday. For comparison: On Monday, the last day before the announced supply reduction, Nord Stream 1 transported around 348 gigawatt hours of Russian natural gas. The quantity stored was always a multiple of this delivery quantity from Russia. On Wednesday, for example, 965 gigawatt hours of natural gas were stored in Germany, and at the same time 354 gigawatt hours were withdrawn from storage. The bottom line is that 611 gigawatt hours remained in storage.
Siemens Energy said on request that they had taken note of the latest reports. "As the manufacturer of the turbines, we can only state that such a finding does not constitute a technical reason for the cessation of operations." Such leaks do not normally affect the operation of a turbine and can be sealed on site - this is a routine part of maintenance work. Even in the past, the occurrence of this type of leak has not brought operations to a standstill.
Siemens Energy is currently not commissioned with maintenance work, but is ready, it said. In the Portovaya compressor station there are also enough other turbines ready for operation of Nord Stream 1.
EU: Gazprom gives false pretexts
Meanwhile, the EU Commission reacted with outrage to the Gazprom announcement: "Gazprom's announcement this afternoon that it would again shut down Nord Stream 1 under false pretenses is further evidence of its unreliability as a supplier," wrote a spokesman for the EU Commission on Friday evening on twitter. It is also a testament to Russia's cynicism, preferring to burn gas rather than fulfill contracts.
The first gas deliveries had previously been announced for Saturday morning. This emerged from preliminary data on the Nord Stream AG website. The volume of the announced deliveries initially corresponded to the level before the interruption, i.e. around 20 percent of the maximum possible volume and thus 33 million cubic meters of natural gas daily. Late on Friday afternoon, however, the preliminary data showed only a hardly significant amount. Since Wednesday morning, no gas has flowed through the last most important pipeline for Russian gas to Germany. According to Gazprom, the reason was maintenance work.
The Russian energy giant Gazprom is not to blame for the fact that the reliability of the line through the Baltic Sea is at risk, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Interfax agency at noon. There are no technical reserves. "Only one turbine is running," he said when asked by a journalist about possible further interruptions.