RRussia is reducing gas supplies to Germany via the Nord Stream Baltic Sea pipeline by a good 40 percent. The energy company Gazprom announced on Tuesday in the Telegram messenger service that only 100 million cubic meters of gas per day can be guaranteed instead of the usual 167 million cubic meters.
The background is therefore problems with components from the German Siemens group. The state-owned company called delays in repair work. A gas compressor unit was not returned in time from repairs. As a result, only up to 100 million cubic meters of gas could be pumped through the pipeline every day, or around 60 percent of the previously planned daily volume of 167 million cubic meters of gas, it said.
It is unclear how long the throttling will last and what consequences it will have for gas storage in Europe. The Federal Ministry of Economics announced on Wednesday that it would monitor the situation and examine the facts. “Currently, the security of supply is still guaranteed,” said the house of Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens).
The Nord Stream pipeline, commissioned in 2011, is the highest-capacity gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. It runs from Vyborg in Russia northwest of St. Petersburg to Lubmin in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. According to the operating company, 59.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas were exported from Russia to Europe through the pipeline in 2021. Unlike the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, it was inaugurated before the Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine and the occupation of Crimea. Russian natural gas deliveries to Europe have fallen significantly since European sanctions against Moscow came into force because of the military intervention in Ukraine.
Berlin is preparing a billion-dollar loan for the former Gazprom unit
It was reported on Monday that the federal government was apparently preparing a billion-euro loan to rescue a former German subsidiary of the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom PJSC. According to Bloomberg, a rescue operation for Gazprom Germania GmbH could take place this week, with the state-owned KfW Group expected to grant a loan of 5 to 10 billion euros. Talks are still ongoing and plans are subject to change.
The money is intended to stabilize the company’s finances and help ensure security of supply. Russia restricted supplies to Gazprom Germania earlier this year after Germany took control of Gazprom Germania. As a result, the company had to buy some of the energy it supplies to its customers on the spot market – at significantly higher prices.
Deliveries to several countries stopped
At the beginning of June, Gazprom announced that it had delivered a good quarter less gas to countries outside the former Soviet Union in the first five months of this year than in the same period last year. Two weeks ago, Gazprom announced that 61 billion cubic meters were exported from January to May. That was 27.6 percent or 23.2 billion cubic meters of gas less than a year earlier. According to the company, gas supplies to China through the Power of Siberia pipeline had increased over the same period. However, the energy company did not give any figures on this.
In Europe, Gazprom recently lost several customers. The background is that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had asked buyers of Russian gas from “unfriendly countries” – including EU member states – to pay for their gas in rubles. Deliveries to Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and the Netherlands have already been stopped. Gazprom has also stopped supplying Danish concern Orsted and Shell.
EU countries are currently trying to reduce their dependence on Russian energy. However, there is no agreement on a possible natural gas embargo, since several member states are heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies.
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