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Russia Still Hasn’t Finished Nord Stream Review

Russia still hasn’t completed its review of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, Deputy Russian Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday.

As for whether gas supplies will resume in the surviving line—or when—Novak told reporters that it is “too early to talk about it now. An examination of this infrastructure is taking place. There is no final conclusion on this from the point of view of the integrity of this infrastructure. We will look at the results.”

Novak failed to provide an update as to an estimated completion date.

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were rocked by explosions last September, although neither pipeline was in service at the time. Russia’s state-run gas company, Gazprom, stopped operations of Nord Stream 1 in August, and Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation.

At the time, Germany believed that Nord Stream 1 and 2 would be indefinitely unusable, but as recently as this week, German utility Uniper said that the Nord Stream pipeline could be repaired within a year. Of course, that assumes Germany is interested in resuming its purchases of Russian natural gas.

The Kremlin and Russian state media accused the United States in September of damaging the pipeline, which was later followed by accusations against the UK of directing the Nord Stream blasts. The litany of Moscow’s charges continues with Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accusing Sweden this week of “hiding something” in their investigation of the blasts after Swedish authorities concluded that the gas leaks were the result of detonations and likely the result of “serious sabotage.”

Germany’s natural gas import costs more than doubled compared to a year earlier in the January to November 2022 time period, official monthly data showed on Thursday. This is despite import volumes for Germany’s nat gas falling 29%.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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