Gas supplies via Nord Stream have fallen to zero cubic meters per hour, and the operation of the pipeline has been suspended for three days due to scheduled maintenance work at the Portovaya compressor station, data from gas transportation system operators showed.
According to information from the operator of the Opal gas pipeline, which receives gas from Nord Stream, deliveries through the Baltic pipeline ceased from 4 am Moscow time (1 am GMT), as previously announced by Russian energy giant Gazprom. The less powerful gas pipeline Nel stopped receiving gas even earlier, at 3 am Moscow time.
Gazprom announced on Friday that Russian gas deliveries to Europe through the Nord Stream pipeline will cease from August 31 to September 2 for “maintenance”, raising the prospect of energy shortages in Europe.
“It is necessary to carry out maintenance every 1,000 hours” of operation, Gazprom indicated in a statement.
“On August 31, 2022, the only Trent 60 gas compression unit will be stopped for three days for maintenance” involving technicians from Germany’s Siemens, the Russian company said.
As a result, “gas transportation through the Nord Stream pipeline will be suspended for three days.”
At the end of this period, deliveries will be restored to a flow of 33 million cubic meters of gas per day, Gazprom mentioned.
On Tuesday, Gazprom decided to suspend supplies to French energy company Engie, due to non-payment for July in full, the energy company announced.
Earlier, Engie said Gazprom had notified it that gas supplies would be suspended from August 30 onwards due to disagreements over some contracts.
According to a decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 31, 2022, gas supply exports are prohibited if payment is not paid in full within the contractual payment period.
“In this regard, Gazprom Export has notified Engie of a complete suspension of gas supplies starting from September 1, 2022, until the receipt of funds for the supplied gas in full,” Gazprom concluded.
France faces energy production crisis, needs to restart nuclear plants
On Monday, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced that due to the escalating energy crisis in Europe, France will desperately need to restart its nuclear reactors, which were shut down previously, to avoid electricity shortages in winter.
Borne stressed that if there is no immediate alternative to gas supplies from Russia, this measure is necessary.
On August 25, EDF, a French energy company, launched 4 out of 12 nuclear reactors that were previously shut down for maintenance over corrosion which was detected in May by the French Nuclear Safety Authority.
As Europe struggles with unaffordable energy prices, it is reported that 32 out of 56 French nuclear reactors remain dormant for different reasons.
France is facing a crisis in energy production, described as “unprecedently difficult” in late July by government spokesperson Olivier Veran.
The country has taken rationing measures, such as banning illumination and air conditioners in stores at night time.
Source: Agencies (edited by Al-Manar English Website)