Gazprom Cannot Guarantee Nord Stream’s Safe Operation

Due to the doubts over the return of the repaired turbine from Canada, the Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Wednesday it could not guarantee the safe operation of a critical part of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

Kremlin-controlled energy company cut earlier this month the capacity of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline – which transports 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year of gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea – to just 40% of usual levels, citing the delayed return of the turbine serviced by Germany’s Siemens Energy in Canada.

Despite the calls from Ukraine not to return the repaired part, claiming it would undermine sanctions against Russia, the turbine needed for Nord Stream 1’s Portovaya compressor station in Russia was reportedly given a permit by Ottawa to be delivered back, but only to Germany – as a compromise- so Canada does not breach any sanctions.

The permit Ottawa issued this weekend is time-limited and revocable, allowing the return of the equipment as an exemption from its Russian sanctions, but it also announced new sanctions in its statement, from which it becomes clear that more than one turbine for Nord Stream 1 is serviced in Canada.

Siemens said it’s aiming to get the turbine from its repair shop in Canada to Germany as soon as possible now that Canada allowed its shipment. Berlin will later ship the turbine to Russia.

But Gazprom underscored in the statement on Wednesday that it does not have a single document allowing Siemens to bring back the gas turbine engine from Canada so they have no clear picture of the possibility to ensure the safe operation of the Portovaya, which is a critical facility for the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

The German economy ministry’s spokesperson declined to comment on Gazprom’s statements while the rest of the EU is concerned that Russia could additionally restrict the gas supply by extending the scheduled maintenance.

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