Nord Stream deliveries to Europe were suspended for three days

Not surprising, but not without concern. From the morning of Wednesday, August 31, the interruption of supply with the “North Stream” gas pipeline excites Europe. It was announced this summer by Russian giant Gazprom, which owns the pipeline, which connects Siberian gas fields directly to northern Germany and exports gas from there to other European countries. “need” In a compressor station located in Russia.

The statement posted on the Telegram account of the Russian group says that the operation has started well. According to the data posted online by the European gas transport network Entsog and the website of the Nord Stream company, the gas flow has thus dropped to zero.

These repairs should be done by Saturday “every 1000 hours”, previously insured Gazprom. But energy is at the heart of the conflict between Moscow and the West, which regularly accuses Russia of using gas in the context of the war in Ukraine. “as a weapon”.

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Behind care, the shadow of a decrease in flows

For Klaus Müller, the head of the German Network Agency, this is where the work begins is technically incomprehensible. Experience shows that Russia “He makes a political decision after the so-called “guarantee”, observed.

Asked about the resumption of flows at the end of the three-day break, Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Western capitals “They imposed sanctions against Russia, which does not allow normal maintenance and repair work to be carried out.”

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Not very reassuring statements due to past events. In July, “Gazprom” had already carried out ten days of maintenance work on “North Stream”. The company reopened the gas tap at the end of this case, but slightly reduced the amount delivered. Currently, they make up 20% of the normal capacity of the gas pipeline.

According to Moscow, the fault lies with the turbine, which is missing and cannot be returned to Russia due to sanctions. Germany, where the turbine is located, however, maintains that it is Moscow that is preventing the return of this key piece.

There is also uncertainty in the port of Lubmin on the Baltic Sea, where the gas pipeline ends. “In July, it was a long-planned routine maintenance, this time it was not planned, and we do not know what is behind this operation,” This was told to AFP by the manager of the Gascade company, which transports gas to Germany through the Nord Stream.

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France cuts Russian gas…

This repair operation comes a day after Gazprom announced that it will completely stop deliveries to France from this Thursday, September 1. Reason ? Argument with Engie. According to the Russian giant, the French group did not pay all the deliveries made in July. However, the decree signed by Vladimir Putin at the end of March shows this “If the buyer does not make the full payment within the period specified in the contract, it is prohibited to supply more natural gas to the foreign buyer.”

The cut will continue “until the financial sums due for the deliveries are received in full” Gazprom says.

Contacted by AFP on Tuesday evening, Engie declined to comment on the announcement at this time. The group reminded that it has already taken measures to ensure its customers, even in the event of a Gazprom flow cut. Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, the supply of Russian gas to Engie has already been significantly reduced. Rrecently they were down to just 1.5 TWh per month. Engie recorded a roughly 4% share of Russian gas supplies at the end of July.

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… still remains “confident”.

Emmanuelle Wargon, president of the Commission for the Regulation of Energy (CRE), nevertheless said on Wednesday 31 August that she was confident. “On the possibility of spending the winter in France without Russian gas”. This will not change “not more than happiness” for consumers, he highlighted LCI’s supply diversification efforts and good warehouse replenishment.

“With all this, we are not too concerned about the availability of gasoline,” but “what we will affect is more prices,” said judge Emmanuelle Wargon.

Asked about a possible increase in energy prices for households in 2023, he predicted that it would “It’s too early to say.”

France is preparing to cut gas supply to certain companies in the event of a temporary lack of gas during the cold season this winter. “If there is a slight shortage of gas, it will not concern households” and “adjustment variable will be producers”, Emmanuel Vargon repeated.

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(via AFP)