Moscow/Berlin/Cernobbio – According to the Russian gas company Gazprom, the German company Siemens Energy is ready to help with the repair of the equipment on the compressor side of the shut down Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. Reuters reported today. However, the German company responded by announcing that it had not received any repair instructions from Gazprom as of today. Gazprom is the operator of the gas pipeline, Siemens Energy is the supplier of the compressor turbines.
The Russian company said that Siemens Energy, in accordance with the contract between the two companies, “engaged in the work” and is ready to eliminate the defect, which is an oil leak at the Portovaja compressor station. The glitch prompted Gazprom on Friday to shut down the pipeline for a longer period than originally announced. Nord Stream 1 was supposed to be operational again this morning after maintenance.
According to Gazprom, the repair can only be carried out at a specially adapted workplace, but it is not available. Nord Stream 1 runs along the bottom of the Baltic Sea to Germany and is the main route for transporting Russian gas to the EU.
Germany’s network services regulator Bundesnetzagentur has announced that it can vouch for the current gas situation in Germany. However, according to him, the situation is tense and “deterioration cannot be ruled out”. The statement came after Gazprom announced the suspension of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
Siemens Energy supplied some equipment for Nord Stream, for which it also provides service. The firm said on Friday that the oil leak did not pose a sufficient technical barrier to stop the gas flow because the equipment could be sealed in place. Such action is part of routine repairs, the company said.
“Regardless of this, we have pointed out several times that there are enough turbines in the Portovaja compressor station for Nord Stream 1 to work,” said a Siemens Energy spokesperson. The statement of the Bundesnetzagentur also states that “defects stated by the Russian side are not a technical reason for the interruption of operation” of the gas pipeline.
European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni said today at the economic forum in Cernobbio, Italy, that the European Union expects Russia to fulfill its obligations arising from the treaties. “However, if the energy blackmail continues or escalates, the EU is ready to react,” Gentiloni said.
Gazprom announced this morning that it will deliver 42.7 million cubic meters of gas to the European Union via Ukraine today, which will be a slight increase compared to Friday’s volume of 41.3 million cubic meters. However, the increase in supplies cannot compensate for the outage of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.
The wholesale price of gas for the European market fell by more than one percent to 212 euros (5,196 CZK) per megawatt hour (MWh) on Friday at the Title Transfer Facility (TTF) virtual trading hub in the Netherlands. A year ago it was just under 30 euros and two years ago it was around 15 euros per MWh. It started to increase already last autumn, according to some analysts, it was a reaction to the energy policy of the European Union, which is pushing for a rapid shift away from fossil fuels without an adequate solution. Another noticeable increase in prices occurred after the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine in February this year. Prices in TTF are decisive for the European market.
Along with gas prices, electricity prices also increase. The price for the German and French markets with delivery next year exceeded 1,000 euros per megawatt-hour at the end of August, but this week it has fallen by about 50 percent from those values. Despite the drop to 495 euros/MWh, the price for the German market is still about ten times the seasonal average of the last ten years. The wholesale price of electricity for the Czech market is now around 490 euros per MWh.
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