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Nominations for natural gas deliveries from Russia via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline halved today, according to data from Gazprom cited by Reuters.
At 14.42 million kWh per hour, nominations for Wednesday were down from more than 27 million kWh per hour previously.
Gazprom said it will halt another Nord Stream 1 turbine for maintenance, reducing gas flow via the pipeline to Germany to 20 percent of capacity—half of the current capacity utilization.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned last week that gas flow via Nord Stream 1 could be reduced further because of turbine maintenance.
“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 referring to the turbine that Siemens Energy sent for repairs to Canada at a time when Canada had just approved a slew of new sanctions against Russia, including the provision of services to its industries.
This basically arrested the turbine in Canada, and Germany had to plead with Ottawa to release the piece of equipment so Gazprom could resume more normal flows of gas via Nord Stream 1.
When Gazprom suspended gas deliveries via the pipeline earlier this month, some European governments braced for a longer suspension of deliveries that would extend beyond the scheduled maintenance period.
These expectations did not materialize, but anxiety remains high in European capitals as Gazprom continues to reduce flows. In anticipation of further supply disruptions, European energy ministers earlier this week agreed to a voluntary gas consumption cut of 15 percent, to be implemented between August and next March.
Should the voluntary cuts fail, they will become obligatory but at different rates for different EU member states.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com