Gazprom reveals reasons behind indefinite shutdown of Nord Stream pipeline
The supply of natural gas to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was indefinitely terminated after an engine oil leak was found in the main gas turbine during an inspection in St. Petersburg, Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Friday.
A joint inspection was carried out at the Portovaya compressor station near St. Petersburg with Siemens Energy, which maintains the turbine, the company added.
Gazprom highlighted that the oil leak detection report “was also signed by representatives of Siemens,” citing the German company as saying that the necessary repairs could only be done in “the conditions of a specialized workshop.”
The turbine cannot operate safely until the leak is repaired, according to the Russia firm. It gave no timeframe for the resumption of supplies via the key gas route to Europe.
Operations had been due to resume on the pipeline early on Saturday after a scheduled three-day maintenance break.
Nord Stream 1 had been operating at reduced capacity since July due to the shutdown of several gas turbines. Some were sent to Montreal for repairs and got stuck there due to Canadian sanctions on Moscow over Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. At Germany’s request, Ottawa announced an exemption for the turbines in July, returning one, but Gazprom refused to take delivery, citing irregularities in the documentation.
Gazprom has cited faulty or delayed equipment as the main reason for the 80% reduction of deliveries via the pipeline. Earlier this week, Moscow said only sanctions are preventing Nord Stream 1 from working at full capacity. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller had also warned that sanctions could obstruct Siemens Energy from carrying out regular maintenance of the pipeline’s equipment.
Meanwhile, the newly built Nord Stream 2 pipeline stands idle as Germany has refused to certify it for operation.
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