Russia’s 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, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
“There are two functioning machines there, they pump 60 million cubic metres per day ... If one is not returned, there will be one, which is 30 million cubic metres. Has Gazprom something to do with that?” Putin was quoted as saying by Reuters during a visit to Iran.
Another gas turbine is scheduled to be sent for maintenance on July 26, Putin said.
Nord Stream is undergoing regular maintenance between July 11 and 21 and no gas currently flows from the key gas link between Russia and Germany.
Before the start of the maintenance period, Gazprom had already slashed deliveries via Nord Stream, saying that a gas turbine for a Nord Stream compressor station being repaired by Siemens at a facility in Canada could not be returned due to the Western sanctions on Russia. European leaders, including those of Germany and Italy—whose countries are most affected by the slashed Gazprom deliveries—have said that the Russian excuses are “lies” and that the lower gas supply was a politically motivated decision.
Canada sent the gas turbine that was being repaired in the country on a July 17 flight to Germany, from where the equipment will need another five to seven days to reach Russia if there are no logistics or customs problems, Russian daily Kommersant reported on Monday, citing sources familiar with the situation. The turbine is expected to arrive in Russia around July 24, but could take another three to four days to commission and install. Thus, the turbine is expected to be ready to pump gas in early August, Kommersant reports.
Meanwhile, the European Union is bracing for the possibility that Russia will not resume natural gas deliveries to Europe via Nord Stream as planned—right after the regular maintenance on the pipeline ends on July 21.
“We are working on the worst possible scenario. And that scenario, and assumption therefore, is that Gazprom would no longer deliver any gas to Europe... We are basing our winter preparedness plans on the worst possible scenario,” a European Commission spokesperson told Reuters on Tuesday.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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