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Russia ‘completely stops’ Nord Stream gas supplies to Germany

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Russia ‘completely stops’ Nord Stream gas supplies to Germany

Europe has been on edge over soaring energy prices as Russia curbed its gas deliveries in the wake of its offensive in Ukraine.

Fear of shortages of natural gas has driven futures contracts for electricity in France and Germany to record levels.
Fear of shortages of natural gas has driven futures contracts for electricity in France and Germany to record levels.
(AA)

Russian energy giant Gazprom has suspended all gas supplies to Germany through the Nord Stream pipeline, as the conflict in Ukraine raises fears for energy supplies to Europe.

“Supplies via Nord Stream completely stopped as preventative work begins today at a gas compressor unit,” the company said in a brief statement on Wednesday. 

Germany’s Federal Network Agency chief Klaus Mueller called it a “technically incomprehensible” decision, warning that it was likely just a pretext by Moscow to wield energy supplies as a threat.

Experience shows that Moscow “makes a political decision after every so-called maintenance”, he said, adding that “we’ll only know at the beginning of September if Russia does that again”.

Europe has been on edge over soaring energy prices as Russia curbed its gas deliveries in the wake of its offensive in Ukraine.

Germany, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas, has accused Moscow of using energy as a “weapon”.

READ MORE: Live blog: Russia halts gas supplies in new jitters for Europe


‘Gas emergency’

At the same time, fears over throttled supplies have also driven companies to slash their energy usage.

Germany’s industry consumed 21.3 percent less gas in July than the average for the month from 2018 to 2021, said the Federal Network Agency.

Mueller has said such pre-emptive action “could save Germany from a gas emergency this winter”.

And Europe’s biggest economy was already racing to turn its back on Russian gas.

At the German coastal city of Lubmin, where Nord Stream 1 comes onshore, plans are already well underway for the switch to liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The LNG, transported in by ships, will arrive at Lubmin’s industrial port and be converted back into gas and pumped into Gascade’s distribution network, which has so far been used to funnel Russian gas around the country.

READ MORE: Germany moves to lower gas consumption, urges to cap heat in offices

Reforming electricity market

“We expect to be able to inject gas into the distribution network on December 1,” said Stephan Knabe of Deutsche ReGas — the company managing the LNG project.

The company believes that up to 4.5 billion cubic metres of gas can be imported via the Lubmin LNG terminal alone, making up around eight percent of Nord Stream 1’s capacity.

Europe as a bloc, meanwhile, was preparing to take emergency action to reform the electricity market in order to bring galloping prices under control. Fear of shortages of natural gas has driven futures contracts for electricity in France and Germany to record levels. 


Source: AFP


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