Russia keeps Nord Stream 1 shut, no hints of reopening

Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom has not reopened the Nord Stream 1 pipeline as planned due to “technical problems” and has not revealed when this major gas flow to Europe will start again.

Gas deliveries via Nord Stream 1 from Russia to Germany closed on 31 August due to maintenance and the pipeline was scheduled to start running again on the night between 2 and 3 September.

However, Gazprom announced on Friday evening that it will not reopen the flow due to technical problems that must be resolved before the pipeline can be put into use again. The company has not stated when it expects this to happen.

The Danish Energy Agency has voiced its concern, stating that the security of supply remains under pressure.

“It is of course a serious development that no gas is coming to Europe from Nord Stream 1. It shows something about how unpredictable a situation we are in. We are well prepared and have filled our warehouses with gas, and we continue to have a gas market, where the gas flows across borders. It is absolutely crucial to be able to secure the gas supply in the coming heating season,” said Martin Hansen, deputy director of the Danish Energy Agency.

Nord Stream 1 has been running at reduced capacity in recent months. In the past month, the flow was at approximately 20% of capacity.

“Russia uses gas as a weapon against our freedom. It is serious and the authorities are following the situation closely. It won’t be easy, but we will get through the winter together. Europe stands together. A few years ago, Russia accounted for 40 percent of the gas supply to Europe. Now it is below 15 percent,” Danish Climate, Energy and Supply Minister Dan Jørgensen stated.

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The two 1,224-kilometer Nord Stream 1 pipelines run from Vyborg, Russia, to Lubmin near Greifswald, Germany, through the Baltic Sea. The route crosses the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, as well as the territorial waters of Russia, Denmark, and Germany.

Transportation of gas through Line 1 began in mid-November 2011, while the second line began transporting gas in October 2012.

Combined, the twin pipelines have the capacity to transport a combined total of 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year to the EU for at least 50 years.

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