November 28, 2022

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Gazprom resumes gas flows to Germany via Nord Stream 1

Gazprom resumes gas flows to Germany via Nord Stream 1

Suspension

Natural gas began flowing again through the main pipeline from Russia to Germany on Thursday, calming European fears that shutdowns during scheduled maintenance would become permanent but not resolving broader concerns that Russia is hoarding energy on the continent.

Gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline resumed at 6 a.m., according to data provided by Germany’s Gascade, but at less than half of its capacity. The gas was turned off to accommodate 10 days of work on the pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

“We are in the process of resuming gas transportation,” a Nord Stream spokesman said, responding to the company’s media hotline, but declined to name it, citing the protocol.

It is avoiding – at least for now – what officials have described as ‘nightmare scenario’ The largest economy in Europe, with influence across the continent and around the world.

But while the appeal offers some relief, European countries are still preparing for the worst. Concerns remain high that Russian President Vladimir Putin will use gas as leverage against Western countries supporting Kyiv as he continues his offensive on Ukraine.

Despite the rush to diversify, Germany depends on Russia for about a third of its gas supplies, and France on about a fifth.

Russia’s state energy company Gazprom has significantly reduced supplies to European Union countries in recent months, in particular reducing the amount of gas flowing through Nord Stream to 40 percent in June. It was not clear if this was reduced further on Thursday.

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“Our dispatch is waiting at 40 percent, which is the level it was in before maintenance,” said Uta Cole, a spokeswoman for Gascade. However, Klaus Muller, head of the network regulator in Germany, said, Only 30% said it was expectedciting “filters” on the pipeline, an indication from the source of how much volume is to be sent.

Gazprom sought to protest, as it cut supplies force majeure A legal provision used to exempt a party from contractual obligations in the event of extreme events such as war, storm, or fire.

With prices rising and gas storage levels relatively low, the European Commission on Wednesday issued a proposal for countries in the bloc Reduce gas use during winter by 15 percent.

Germany, one of the countries most at risk due to its dependence on Russian energy, has already entered the second phase of its gas crisis plan.

German consumers are urged to save energy in any way possible, including Take cold baths And turn off the lights. Hot water has been cut off in municipal buildings, and the fountains are still standing. Some residential property owners said they might turn down the temperature this winter.

The government hopes it won’t have to take the drastic final step in its contingency planning: to intervene in the market to block gas supplies to certain industries.

“Russia is blackmailing us,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said while unveiling European contingency plans on Wednesday. She added that whether it’s a partial gas cut or a major cut, “Europe must be ready.”

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Germany tried to eliminate any excuses Russia might use to shut off supplies. Earlier this month, it urged Canada to circumvent its own sanctions Re turbine The Nord Stream pipeline was stranded in Montreal so Moscow could not cite it as an excuse to block the flow of gas.