Russia has suspended gas deliveries to Germany via a key pipeline indefinitely after discovering problems with a key piece of equipment, exacerbating Europe’s energy crisis.
The Nord Stream pipeline, which was scheduled to reopen this weekend, will remain closed until a turbine is repaired, according to Russian gas giant Gazprom.
Gazprom via a statement obtained by BizWatch Nigeria, said that during a planned three-day maintenance operation, it discovered “oil leaks” in a turbine.
Gazprom also said “until it is repaired… gas transport via Nord Stream is completely suspended.”
Deliveries via the pipeline, which runs from near St. Petersburg to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea, were scheduled to resume on Saturday.
Gazprom stated that the issues were discovered while performing maintenance with Siemens representatives, who manufactured the turbine in a compressor station that pushes gas through the pipeline.
The Kremlin had warned that the future operation of the Nord Stream pipeline, one of Gazprom’s major supply routes, was jeopardized due to a lack of spare parts.
“There are no technical reserves, only one turbine is working,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
“So the reliability of the operation, of the whole system, is at risk,” he said, adding that it was “not through the fault” of Russian energy giant Gazprom.
Siemens Energy, the turbine manufacturer, stated in a statement that the oil leaks blamed by Gazprom were “not a technical reason for stopping operation.”
“Such leakages do not usually impair turbine operation and can be sealed on site,” it said, adding that it was “not contracted for maintenance work.”