The prospect of further disruption to Nord Stream 1 escalated today, with Gazprom putting pressure on Siemens to deliver a turbine so it could complete maintenance work on the pipeline.
Nord Stream 1 has been shut and placed under maintenance since July 11.
It was expected to open again next week on July 21, easing fears of supply shortages across the continent.
However, Gazprom has since revealed it had asked Siemens to show documentation that would allow the crucial turbine to be brought to a Nord Stream 1 compressor station.
It argued it could not guarantee the safe operation of a critical part of the pipeline that runs under the Baltic sea to Germany because of doubts over the return of a turbine from Canada – which has sanctioned Russia heavily following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
A spokesperson told news agency Reuters: “Gazprom is counting on the Siemens Group to unconditionally fulfil its obligations with regard to servicing gas turbine engines on which depend the reliable operation of the Nord Stream pipeline and natural gas supply to European consumers.”
A Siemens Energy spokesperson said this week the company’s experts were “working intensively on all other formal approvals and logistics” after Canada revealed it was issuing a “time-limited and revocable permit” to exempt the return of the equipment from its Russian sanctions.
European governments, markets and companies are worried the shutdown might be extended in retaliation to Western sanctions, with the continent still highly dependent on Russia for supplies.
In the weeks leading up to the beginning maintenance, Germany reported a 60 per cent drop in flows through Nord Stream 1 – triggering bailout talks with utility giant Uniper.
Russia has also shut off gas to 12 EU nations which have refused to pay for supplies in roubles.