Russian gas flows via Nord Stream resumed on Thursday morning after a 10-day hiatus due to regular maintenance, a spokesperson for the pipeline operator told Bloomberg.
Europe, as well as gas traders, were anxiously awaiting the early hours of Thursday for signs whether Russia would re-open the pipeline that was shut between July 11 and the early morning of July 21. EU officials and market participants were not ruling out the possibility that Russia may stop altogether flows via Nord Stream once the maintenance period is over.
On Thursday morning in Europe, there were signs that the pipeline was resuming operations. Orders for gas will resume at around 40% of Nord Stream’s capacity, the level from before the maintenance after Russia slashed flows in the middle of June.
Klaus Müller, the president of Germany’s Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur, tweeted early on Thursday that nominations for gas flows via Nord Stream were at around 30% of the pipeline’s capacity and that this amount, equal to around 530 GWh/d, was binding for two hours. Müller noted that it is very unusual for the rate of flows to change during the day.
According to Zeit’s Senior Data Journalist Christian Endt, gas is flowing through Nord Stream 1 again. Flows were at 21.5 GWh in the early hours of the restart, compared to around 30 GWh before the maintenance started. At full capacity, which was used before Russia slashed supply by 60% on June 13, the flows through Nord Stream were around 70 GWh/hour, Endt notes.
A day before the restart, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that
Gazprom could cut natural gas flows to Europe via Nord Stream even more due to slow progress with the maintenance of the gas turbines at compressor stations. Another gas turbine is scheduled to be sent for maintenance on July 26, Putin said on Wednesday.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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