[The Epoch Times, July 26, 2022](The Epoch Times reporter Takasugi compiled and reported) Moscow on Monday (July 25) tightened its restrictions onEuropeofnatural gassupply.Russianatural gasIndustry AG has announced that the supply of natural gas to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will drop to only 20% of its transport capacity.
RussiaFrom 4:00 GMT on Wednesday (July 27), the flow will fall to 33 million cubic meters per day – halving the already reduced level – as it needs to Industry watchdog directive to stop the operation of a Siemens gas turbine at a compressor station.
Germany said it believed that Russia’s newly announced cuts in natural gas supplies were not technically motivated, but because Western countries were economical to Moscow over what it called a “special military operation” in Ukraine. After the sanctions, Russia responded with an economic blow.
Affected by the latest news of the blow to the Nord Stream 1 project, asEuropeThe benchmark Dutch natural gas front-month futures contract closed up 9.95%. With an annual transmission capacity of 55 billion cubic meters, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is Russia’s largest natural gas pipeline to Europe.
Recently,EURussia has been repeatedly accused of energy blackmail. The Kremlin, however, said the gas supply gap was caused by maintenance problems and the impact of Western sanctions.
Politicians in Europe say Russia could cut off gas supplies to Europe this winter. That would tip the German economy into recession and cause consumers, already grappling with higher food and energy prices, to face even worse price spikes.
Germany was forced to announce last week a $15 billion bailout for German energy giant Uniper.
Earlier, President Vladimir Putin had already foreshadowed Russia’s latest measures to cut natural gas supplies. He warned the West this month that continued sanctions against Russia could trigger a disastrous rise in energy prices for consumers around the world.
In June, Russia had cut Nord Stream 1’s gas transmission to 40 percent of its capacity, citing the delayed return of a turbine under repair by Canada’s Siemens Energy. Germany believes that this explanation is false. Because the Russian official deliberately delayed the issuance of the customs approval required to import the equipment.
Afterwards, Nord Stream 1 was completely shut down this month for a 10-day annual maintenance. When it restarted last Thursday, gas supplies were still at 40% of normal levels.
Germany’s Uniper said it did not see a link between the turbine problems and the cuts to gas supplies implemented and announced by Gazprom. Gazprom did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Kremlin had earlier claimed that Moscow was not interested in stopping gas supplies to Europe altogether. Europe is currently struggling to fill its underground storage ahead of peak winter demand.
Russia’s practice of compressing supplies has raised the risk of natural gas rationing in continental Europe. last week,EUMember states are advised to reduce their natural gas use by 15% from the same period in previous years between August and March next year.
Russia is the world’s second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and the world’s largest exporter of natural gas. About 40% of Europe’s natural gas and 30% of its oil are imported from Russia.
Responsible editor: Li Yuan#