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.
According to Gazprom, the leak in the compressor station was discovered during maintenance work carried out jointly with experts from Siemens Energy. The leaked oil was found in several places. It is not possible to guarantee the safe operation of the last remaining gas turbine there. It was said that such oil spills had happened in the past.
A letter about the complaints about the Trent 60 unit with the number 24 and about the necessary repairs went to the head of Siemens Energy, Christian Bruch, Gazprom said. Siemens Energy initially did not confirm the Gazprom announcement on Friday evening when asked.
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.