Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom said on Friday that a key pipeline carrying natural gas to Europe would be shut down for three days at the end of this month for routine maintenance.
In a statement posted online, Gazprom said the only operational turbine at a key compressor station along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which connects western Russia and Germany, will be shut down for routine maintenance of the August 31 to September 2.
A set of routine maintenance in accordance with the current maintenance contract will be carried out jointly with Siemens specialists, the company said, referring to its German partner, Siemens Energy.
Gazprom said that once the work is completed, gas flow through Nord Stream 1 will resume to its previous level of 33 million cubic meters, or just 20% of the pipeline’s nominal capacity.
Natural gas flows through Nord Stream 1 have been controversial. The shutdown will come a month after Gazprom restored natural gas supply through the pipeline to just one-fifth of capacity after a previous shutdown for maintenance.
Russia has blamed the pipeline cuts on technical issues, but Germany calls them a political move aimed at creating uncertainty and driving up prices amid the conflict in Ukraine.
The recently announced maintenance shutdown has raised fears that Russia will completely cut off gas used to power industry, generate electricity and heat homes in an attempt to gain political clout over Europe as it tries to increase its storage levels for the winter.
Natural gas prices jumped as Russia cut or halted natural gas flows to a dozen European Union countries, fueling inflation and increasing the risk that Europe would plunge into recession.
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