Jul 25, 2022 - World

Russia's Gazprom slashes Nord Stream 1 gas flow to Europe

A receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in Lubmin, Germany, on July 21.

A receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in Lubmin, Germany, on July 21. Photo: Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Russia’s Gazprom said Monday it will halt another turbine engine in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline this week, which will further reduce natural gas flows to Germany.

Why it matters: The halt, which will reduce natural gas flows to only 20% of the pipeline's capacity starting July 27, comes just days after Gazprom resumed sending gas to Europe after a 10-day shutdown for maintenance.

What they're saying: Gazprom said it was required to shut down the turbine engine at a compression station in the Portovaya Bay because of an order from Rostekhnadzor, Russia's federal agency that in part oversees hydraulic structures at energy sites.

  • The engine was produced by Germany's industrial manufacturing conglomerate Siemens.

Thought bubble, via Axios' Ben Geman: The further cut in supplies will add urgency to Europe's scramble for alternative supplies and efforts to cut demand, even as member states don't yet agree on conservation policy.

  • Russia is Europe's largest gas supplier, so the invasion of Ukraine and reduced supply have created fresh market risks. Already-high European natural gas prices jumped again on the news.

The big picture: Europe, especially Germany, remain dependent on Russia for fossil fuels despite recent efforts to diversify.

  • European officials have accused Russia of withholding fuel in retaliation over Western sanctions on Moscow over its unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine.
  • Russia has claimed that the shut downs are necessary because of maintenance issues exacerbated by sanctions.

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