Russia restarts gas exports on the Nord Stream pipeline

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Russian gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would resume on Thursday after the completion of maintenance work that was scheduled to take place for ten days, two sources close to the case told Reuters on Tuesday.

On July 11, Russian giant Gazprom began maintenance work on the two branches of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which is responsible for more than a third of Russia’s natural gas exports to the European Union.

On Tuesday morning, European Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn said the EU executive did not expect resumption of deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline after the ten days of maintenance work, which was scheduled to end on Thursday. “We start from the assumption that it will not be put back into operation,” Hahn told reporters.

Instead, a source close to the case told Reuters that the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is expected to resume operations on time, but at a capacity of less than about 160 million cubic meters per day.

Last month, Gazprom, a Russian-controlled company, reduced gas exports through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 40 percent of capacity, citing delays in returning a turbine that Siemens Energy sent for service to Canada.

“Gazprom will return to levels recorded before July 11,” a source quoted by Reuters said, referring to the volumes of gas expected to be delivered via Nord Stream 1 starting Thursday.

The Russian daily Kommersant also reported on Monday, citing sources close to the situation, that the turbine destined for Nord Stream 1 was sent from Canada to Germany by plane on July 17, after the repair works were completed. However, one source said it was unlikely that the turbine would be re-installed by July 21.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline is an important route for the supply of gas to Germany and other Western European countries. According to the Nord Stream website, the gas arriving in Germany, in the city of Lubmin, then continues to be transported to Belgium, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and other countries.