Exclusive: Gazprom says Nord Stream 1 resumption depends on Siemens Energy

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  • Gazprom says the ball is in Siemens Energy’s court
  • Siemens Energy: We do not understand Gazprom
  • Germany discusses energy conservation
  • Russia: We will send our oil to Asia

VLAdivostok, Russia (Reuters) – Russia’s largest natural gas pipeline to Europe will not resume pumping until Siemens Energy. (ENR1n.DE) Repair of defective equipment, Gazprom (GAZP.MM) Vitaly Markelov, executive vice president of Reuters, said on Tuesday.

Europe faces its worst-ever gas supply crisis, with energy prices soaring that German importers are debating possible rationing in the European Union’s largest economy after Russia cut flows west.

Gazprom (GAZP.MM) He said Friday that Nord Stream 1, Europe’s main supply route, will remain shut down because turbines at a compressor station have leaked engine oil, driving up wholesale gas prices. Read more

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Asked when Nord Stream 1 would start pumping gas again, Markelov told Reuters on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok: “You should ask Siemens. They have to fix the equipment first.”

Siemens Energy, based in Munich, Germany, said on Tuesday it did not understand Gazprom’s presentation of the situation.

She said an engine oil leak in the last remaining turbine in operation at the Portovaya compressor station was no reason to keep the pipeline shut. Read more

“We cannot accommodate this new representation based on the information provided to us over the weekend,” Siemens Energy said in a written statement.

“Therefore, until further notice, it is our assessment that the finding sent to us does not represent a technical reason for the shutdown. Such leaks do not normally affect turbine operation and can be shut down on site,” she added.

Pipes at the landing facilities of the “Nord Stream 1” gas pipeline in Lubben, Germany, March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke // File photo

Energy war?

The Kremlin blames the energy crisis on sanctions the West has imposed on Russia over what President Vladimir Putin calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine. European leaders say Moscow is using energy to blackmail the European Union.

Nord Stream 1, which runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany, is by far the largest Russian gas pipeline to Europe, carrying up to 59.2 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

Nord Stream was once considered a symbol of cooperation between one of the world’s largest energy powers and the world’s fourth largest economy, and is now the subject of recriminations between Berlin and Moscow.

European politicians say Putin, Russia’s supreme leader since the last day of 1999, is using his influence as head of one of the world’s largest energy powers to stoke discord in Europe over the conflict in Ukraine.

EU politicians dismiss Gazprom’s explanations on the turbine issues as an excuse.

But the Kremlin says the West has caused the energy crisis by imposing the toughest sanctions in modern history, a move Putin says is akin to declaring economic war.

The Kremlin also warned that Russia would respond to a G7 proposal to cap the price of Russian oil, a move unlikely to hurt Russia unless China and India follow suit.

Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said Tuesday in Vladivostok that Russia will respond to the price cap by shipping more oil to Asia. He said that Russia and its partners are considering setting up an insurance company to facilitate the oil trade. Read more

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Vladimir Soldatkin reports. Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Jean Harvey

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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