Nord Stream taken offline for annual maintenance [UPDATE]
Gazprom is today expected to close the 55bn m3/yr Nord Stream pipeline for annual maintenance, as previously announced on July 1 by the Nord Stream operating company.
The maintenance program will run for 10 days, ending on July 21, allowing Nord Stream AG to rigorously test the pipeline's mechanical elements and automation systems. Reuters reported July 10 that there were concerns Nord Stream's annual shutdown could be extended due to the war in Ukraine, further driving up gas prices and the pressure on European economies.
Gazprom had already reduced Nord Stream's capacity by up to 60% due to a faulty turbine at one of the route's compressor stations. The turbine has been fixed at Siemens' repair yard in Canada, but was not immediately returned due to Western sanctions on Russian trade. Canada engaged extensively with its European allies, including Ukraine, Germany and the European Commission, as well as with the International Energy Agency, before announcing on July 9 that it would offer a special exemption to its sanction regime, ensuring Siemens returns the turbine.
"Following these engagements, Canada will grant a time-limited and revocable permit for Siemens Canada to allow the return of repaired Nordstream 1 turbines to Germany, supporting Europe’s ability to access reliable and affordable energy as they continue to transition away from Russian oil and gas," Canadian natural resources minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in a statement emailed to NGW. "Absent a necessary supply of natural gas, the German economy will suffer very significant hardship and Germans themselves will be at risk of being unable to heat their homes as winter approaches."
With Nord Stream now offline, Gazprom can still send gas to Europe via Ukraine's gas system, the Yamal-Europe pipeline that runs through Poland to Germany, and the TurkStream under the Black Sea.