Sep 3, 2022 - Economy

Europe worries over winter gas shortages, as Russian pipeline remains closed

The gas receiving compressor station of the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline.

The gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Russia kept one of its main gas supply routes to Europe closed on Saturday, causing concerns of winter fuel shortages that could push major economies into recession, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: European governments expected Gazprom, the Russian energy company, to restart flows at the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, but Russia kept it closed, citing maintenance issues.

  • Hours before the pipeline was set to reopen, Gazprom said problems had been found during inspections, so it would remain closed "until they were eliminated," according to the New York Times.
  • No timeline for the pipeline's reopening was given.

The big picture: Russia's decision to shut down gas supplies is another sign "that energy has become a proxy fight in the Ukraine war," per the New York Times.

What we're watching: Europe is keeping an eye on natural gas prices as it nears winter.

The bottom line: "Russia is taking advantage of Europe’s vulnerability on natural gas, driving up the price of the fuel to extremely high levels across Europe and creating fears of widespread hardship this winter," according to NYT.

Go deeper: The European gas market just got weirder

Go deeper