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Gazprom Blames Siemens For Nord Stream 1 Shutdown

Gazprom will not restart the Nord Stream 1 pipeline until Siemens Energy, the German company that was in charge of maintenance, repairs all equipment that needs repairing.

This is what a Gazprom executive told Reuters today at a business even in Russia’s Far East.

Asked when Nord Stream 1 will return to operation, Vitaly Markelov, deputy CEO, said “You should ask Siemens. They have to repair equipment first.” 

Gazprom suspended gas flows via Nord Stream 1 last Friday, first saying it would restart the flow on Saturday. Later, however, the company said it had detected an oil leak at the Portovaya compressor station and was shutting down Nord Stream 1 indefinitely.

There is only one operational turbine at the station, while the other five are abroad, waiting return after maintenance. Gazprom is blaming Western sanctions for the stuck turbines. Siemens Energy says it had completed all the necessary documentation and there are no sanction obstacles for the turbines to return to the compressor station.

Gazprom claims it had tasked Siemens Energy with the repairs of the turbines at the Portovaya compressor station but Siemens Energy has denied this but has said it was available to carry out maintenance on the critical gas pipeline should Gazprom ask it to do so.

"Irrespective of this, we have already pointed out several times that there are enough additional turbines available in the Portovaya compressor station for Nord Stream 1 to operate," a Siemens Energy spokesman also said, as quoted by CBC.

Before the latest shutdown, Nord Stream 1 was operating at a fifth of its capacity due to the turbine-related technical constraints. It was due to restart at the same reduced rat of flows. Currently, Russia continues to export gas to Europe via the Ukraine. European importers, however, are bracing up for the complete suspension of gas flows.

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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