Sep 2, 2022 - World

Russia delays natural gas deliveries to Europe citing maintenance issues

A gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in Lubmin, Germany, in August 2022.
A gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in Lubmin, Germany, in August 2022. Photo: Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Russia’s Gazprom said Friday its Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline to Europe will not restart Saturday as expected after it detected new maintenance issues with one of the pipeline's turbine engines.

Why it matters: Gazprom claimed Rostekhnadzor, Russia's federal agency that in part oversees hydraulic structures at energy sites, is requiring it to resolve an oil leak at the turbine before restarting deliveries.

  • It means crucial natural gas deliveries to Europe will be further delayed as the continent races to store up gas supplies for winter.

The big picture: Gazprom officially cut off supplies Wednesday, claiming it had to work on a compressor station.

  • Gas deliveries had already been severely reduced to only 20% of the pipeline's capacity, per AP.
  • European officials have cast doubt on the maintenance issues, and have accused Russia of using them to withhold fuel in retaliation over Western sanctions on Moscow over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
  • Russia has claimed the shutdowns and supply cuts are necessary because of maintenance issues exacerbated by sanctions.

Yes, but: Despite the cut off, natural gas prices plunged 30% this week.

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