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Gazprom today suspended the flow of gas along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for regularly scheduled maintenance, which will last ten days.
Germany, however, has been warning that the Russian state gas major may not restart the flow of gas after the completion of maintenance work in retaliation for Western sanctions against Moscow.
"Based on the pattern we've seen, it would not be very surprising now if some small, technical detail is found and then they could say 'now we can't turn it on any more'," German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in late June.
Currently, the flow of gas along the pipeline that supplies the bulk of Germany's imports of Russian gas is just 40 percent of capacity following a delay in the return of a turbine Gazprom says is crucial for keeping export volumes at their usual levels.
The turbine, whose maintenance is performed by Germany Siemens Energy, was sent to Canada, which approved additional sanctions against Russia days before the turbine was due to be returned.
Germany first blamed Russia for making a political decision to lower the flows, and then turned to Canada to ask it to return the turbine so Moscow would not have an excuse to further reduce gas flows.
Ukraine, which has been insisting that Canada does not return the turbine, said it was deeply disappointed by the decision of the authorities in Ottawa.
Related: Canada Agrees To Return Russian Turbine Despite New Sanctions
Russia's TASS noted in its report on the suspension of flows along Nord Stream 1 that last year, when the pipeline entered maintenance in July, flows averaged 59.2 billion cu m—the same record level as Gazprom was sending to Germany in 2020 as well.
This year, according to Gazprom, in addition to the delay in the now notorious turbine, flows have also been affected by malfunctions in technical engines.
The annual capacity of Nord Stream 1 is 55 billion cu m.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.