There is little Russia can do to help with repairs of equipment at Nord Stream compressor stations, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
The situation with the necessary repairs needs to be resolved, but Russia can do little in this regard, Peskov told Russian reporters on Monday.
The Kremlin doesn’t have anything to add to what Gazprom has already said: there are equipment failures necessitating urgent repairs, and there are additional “artificial difficulties” caused by the “illegal sanctions and restrictions,” Peskov added.
The gas turbine manufacturer, Siemens Energy, has said, for its part, that it hadn’t received any reports from Gazprom about malfunctions, and so it had to assume the equipment was operating normally.
Last week, natural gas prices in Europe soared to records after Russia said that gas supply via Nord Stream would be cut to just 20% of the pipeline’s capacity, days after Gazprom restarted the pipeline at 40% capacity after regular 10-day maintenance. The Russian explanation for the even lower gas flows to Europe was that another turbine at a compressor station was sent for repairs, while the one that Canada returned from repairs has yet to be installed.
Russia’s Gazprom said this weekend it halted gas supplies to Latvia “due to a violation of the conditions established for gas withdrawal,” without elaborating what the violation was. This made Latvia another EU member state with supply from Russia cut off. Latvia said the Russian move would have little impact on its gas supply.
Meanwhile, the EU urges member states and EU consumers to voluntarily reduce gas and energy consumption to give countries a chance to fill their gas storage sites in time for the winter heating season.
As of July 30, the EU’s storage was nearly 69% full, according to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe. Storage in Germany, the biggest European economy and the biggest buyer of Russian gas, was also above 68%. The target is the EU to have gas storage 80% full by October and preferably 90% by November.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com