Russia: Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, due to reopen on weekend, will remain shut

MoscowEdited By: Manas JoshiUpdated: Sep 02, 2022, 10:55 PM IST

(File photo) Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. Photograph:(Reuters)

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Nord Stream 1 is a vital gas pipeline transporting Russian gas to Germany and rest of Europe

In a major development, Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom said that Nord Stream 1, a major pipeline pumping Russian gas to Germany and Europe will not be reopened till turbine repairs are done. The vital pipeline was due to open this weekend. This has put a potentially indefinite time frame on the reopening of the pipeline.

In a statement, Gazprom indicated it had discovered "oil leaks" in a turbine during a planned three-day maintenance operation and that "until it is repaired... the transport of gas via Nord Stream is completely suspended".

Russia is a major provider of natural gas to Europe. It has leveraged this position to exert political pressure on Europe over Ukraine war. The European Union (EU) has imposed sanctions on Russia post its Ukraine invasion on February 24. There is already a shadow of possible fuel shortage in Europe and energy prices have increased.

The demand for energy is likely to go up in winter which is just months away. In this background, Russia's latest announcement is a blow to gas-starved Europe.

Nord Stream 1 pipeline runs under the Baltic Sea.

Russia has previously blamed economic sanctions for hampering operation and maintenance of Nord Stream 1 pipeline. However, European Union thinks that this is just a pretext and Russia is retaliating against the Western measures.

Gas prices have sky-rocketed, hurting European industry and households, surging first due to recovering demand after the pandemic and then rising further because of the Ukraine crisis.

(With inputs from agencies)

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