September 24, 2022

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Ukraine advances pipeline after Gazprom suspends Nord Stream deliveries 'due to maintenance' |  Ukraine and Russia war

Ukraine advances pipeline after Gazprom suspends Nord Stream deliveries ‘due to maintenance’ | Ukraine and Russia war

ModernizationAfter the Russian exporting company Gazprom announced the suspension of gas supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline for several days for maintenance – from August 31 to September 2 – Ukraine proposed to use its own pipelines as an alternative route.

“The capacity of the Ukrainian gas transportation system and the route through Poland is more than sufficient to fulfill the obligations to supply Russian gas to Europe,” the Ukrainian gas network operator said in Kyiv Friday evening.

But Russia would not have accepted the offer, according to the director. According to the Ukrainians, there is no objective ground for limiting gas supplies to Europe. It seems that Gazprom just wants to put pressure on Europe and marginalize Ukraine.

And a number of countries, especially in southeastern Europe, still receive Russian gas through the Ukrainian pipeline.

unexpected action

This unexpected move by Moscow increases pressure on Germany and most of Europe to replenish gas reserves to avoid large-scale rationing to keep the population warm. The price of natural gas reached a new record after the announcement of the new maintenance.

According to the company, this relates to the planned maintenance of gas turbines at the pressure plant in Portofaga. And specialists from the German company Siemens will participate. Gazprom previously reduced deliveries through the pipeline to 20 percent of the maximum capacity, citing a technical defect caused by the turbines. German and European officials see this as an economic retaliation for aid to Ukraine.

Gazprom said on Friday that maintenance will take place between August 31 and September 2. If no faults are detected, the gas flow will be returned to the current level.

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Gas price increase

With Gazprom cutting supplies, gas prices, already at record levels, rose again in Europe. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Union imported about 40 percent of its gas from Russia. Governments across Europe are trying to secure gas from other suppliers, including Norway, Algeria, the United States and Qatar, which often comes in the form of LNG that is transported by ship.

If Russia shuts down its natural gas pipeline during the winter, the fragile European economy will likely sink into recession. This is what analysts and officials warn. Rising electricity prices have shut down some industrial activities in Europe this week, including the formation of energy-intensive metals.

Also maintenance of the stands

The temporary shutdown was previously unannounced and comes just weeks after the 1,220-kilometre Nord Stream pipeline, which connects Russia’s Siberian gas fields to Germany under the Baltic Sea, was shut down for ten days for annual maintenance.

After the work was completed, Gazprom restored gas flow, but only to 40 percent of the pipeline’s capacity. This was later reduced to 20 percent because normal flow could not be maintained without the turbines that were maintained in Canada. The company said other turbines also needed maintenance.

What is Nord Stream?

Nord Stream was first opened in 2011 and has a production capacity of 55 billion cubic meters annually. This is enough to cover about 10% of the annual consumption of the European Union.

There are other pipelines from Russia to Europe, but the flows through these pipelines have decreased. Ukraine closed one of its gas transit routes in May, allegedly for interfering with Russian forces. Deliveries through another pipeline called Yamal, which usually transports gas from Russia to Europe, were halted this year due to sanctions imposed by Russia on the Polish co-owner.

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Nord Stream 1 gas turbine still in Germany

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