Europe: When energy prices are already skyrocketing, and deliveries are at record lows, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has stated that the supply of gas to Europe would be interrupted for three days due to normal maintenance.
The Russian business has stated that the repairs, which were already scheduled last summer, are “essential” in order to address issues with a compressor station on the Russian side of the pipeline, which connects gas-rich resources in northern Siberia to Germany.
According to the information posted on the websites of the parent company of Nord Stream and the European gas transport network ENTSOG, the flow of gas via the pipeline essentially stopped in the early hours of August 31.
Gazprom announced that it has completely stopped sending gas via the pipeline to Europe, adding that scheduled construction on the compressor station had already started. According to the business, the maintenance tasks, which will go until Saturday, must be completed “every 1,000 hours” of operational time.
However, experts have raised the question of the validity of the repairs, branding it as an instance of energy warfare. Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Gazprom considerably increased gas prices by refusing to utilise the country’s transit system in what is now viewed as an effort to isolate Ukraine.
Andrii Ursta, a specialist from the Ukrainian energy research tank DiXi group, told The Brussels Times in June that the regular maintenance and decreased flow rates via the Nord Stream pipeline were probably “an attempt to justify international trade restrictions.” The assertion of regular repairs, according to Ursta, was “likely rubbish, since there are too many coincidences.”
Gazprom has cut the amount of gas transported via the pipeline by 80% during the past six months. On August 25, natural gas prices surpassed €300 per megawatt-hour (MWh) once more, reaching levels not seen since the commencement of the conflict in Ukraine.