Europe’s natural gas supply via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline has been cut off indefinitely after an engine oil leak was discovered in the main gas turbine during an inspection in Saint Petersburg, Russian energy giant Gazprom announced on Friday.
A joint inspection was carried out at the Portovaya compressor station near St. Petersburg with Siemens Energy, which services the turbine, the company added.
Gazprom pointed out that the oil leak detection report “was also signed by representatives of Siemens”, citing the German company as having stated that the necessary repairs could only be carried out in “the conditions of a specialized workshop.”
The turbine cannot operate safely until the leak is repaired, according to the Russian firm. He gave no timeframe for the resumption of supplies via the main gas route to Europe.
Operations were due to resume on the pipeline early Saturday after a scheduled three-day maintenance break.
Nord Stream 1 had been operating at reduced capacity since July due to the shutdown of several gas turbines. Some were sent to Montreal for repairs and were stuck there because of Canadian sanctions against Moscow over the Russian military operation in Ukraine. At Germany’s request, Ottawa announced an exemption for the turbines in July, returning one, but Gazprom refused to take delivery, citing documentation irregularities.
Gazprom cited faulty or delayed equipment as the main reason for an 80% reduction in deliveries through the pipeline. Earlier this week, Moscow said only sanctions were preventing Nord Stream 1 from operating at full capacity. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller had also warned that sanctions could prevent Siemens Energy from carrying out regular maintenance of pipeline equipment.
Meanwhile, the newly built Nord Stream 2 pipeline is inactive because Germany has refused to certify it for operation.
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