Nord Stream AG, the operator of Nord Stream, will temporarily suspend the operation of both gas pipeline strings from July 11 to July 21, 2022 for maintenance work, the company said.
As part of the prevention, they will also test mechanical components and automation systems “to ensure efficient, safe and reliable operation of the gas pipeline.”
Nord Stream AG clarified that the schedule and work plan was agreed in advance with partners in the transportation of gas upstream and downstream. “Information on the progress of the work was disclosed in a timely manner in accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 1227/2011 (Regulation on the Good Conduct of Participants and the Transparency of the Wholesale Energy Market – REMIT),” the company said in a statement.
In June, Gazprom reported that two of the four turbines at the Nord Stream entry point had stopped working, causing the pipeline’s capacity to drop by 40%. The company said Germany’s Siemens did not return turbines for the gas pipeline that Gazprom had sent to it for repairs. Siemens said that the equipment is being repaired in Canada, and the country’s sanctions prohibit returning it to Russia. Later, Siemens chief executive Joe Käser told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that gas supplies to Germany via Nord Stream had not fallen because the company had not returned the turbine.
Aleksey Grivach, deputy director general of the National Energy Security Fund, says that the shutdown of Nord Stream was planned in advance and “all interested parties should have prepared for it.” “Perhaps the download rates [газа в европейские подземные хранилища] will fall a little. But this also depends on the flow of gas from other sources and the physical demand for gas during this period,” he added.
Taking into account other factors that reduce the flow of gas to the European market, such as a decrease in the pumping of gas from the Russian Federation through the GTS of Ukraine, the shutdown of the Nord Stream operation may negatively affect the rate of filling underground gas storage facilities (UGS) in Europe, the stock market expert agrees ” BCS World of Investments” Valery Emelyanov. “Europe set the task of filling the storage facilities by 80% by November 1, but even before the disruption of supplies through the Nord Stream, it was clear that this task was difficult to achieve. With the UGS injection rates held by the EU in May and June, the target of 70% looked more realistic. Now it is shifting, rather, closer to 60%, ”the expert believes.
At the same time, Yemelyanov does not rule out that the heating season in Europe may be disrupted and “cost more than usual.” “If Russian gas supplies are not restored, gas prices may again test the bar of $2,000 per 1,000 cubic meters. m,” he adds. Grivach agrees that in the coming months we can again expect further growth in gas prices, which are already “extremely high” in the EU. On July 1, gas at the largest European hub TTF traded above $1,500 per 1,000 cubic meters. m, at the moment the price rose to $1640.