Europe will have to find even more quickly enough to replace gas deliveries by the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which has been shut down for an indefinite period.
Russian giant Gazprom has announced that the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which was due to resume service on Saturday after maintenance work, will finally be “completely” stopped until a turbine in this vital pipeline is repaired. for supplying Europeans.
In a press release, Gazprom indicated on Friday evening that it had discovered oil leaks in the turbine during this maintenance operation in a compressor station located in Russia.
Until the repair […], the transport of gas via Nord Stream is completely suspended, the group said, without specifying how long this repair could last.
This development will further heighten the anxiety of Europeans, who are struggling to avoid an energy crisis this winter and accuse Moscow of using gas as a weapon to avenge Western sanctions after the x27;Russian offensive in Ukraine.
The Gazprom group was to resume its gas deliveries on Saturday by Nord Stream, which connects Russia to northern Germany, after a new three-day interruption for these maintenance operations.
Gazprom claimed to have discovered this oil leak during a technical inspection carried out with representatives of the German group Siemens, which manufactured the turbine.
The Russian group reports this oil leak which would come from cables connected to speedometers of a rotor. On Telegram, the group posted a photo showing cables surrounded by a brownish liquid.
These technical problems prevent the safe operation of the gas turbine engine, argues Gazprom, based on a warning from the Russian Civil Industry Monitoring Agency.
Earlier in the day, the Kremlin had claimed that only one turbine was operating on site and that Nord Stream's business was threatened by a shortage of spare parts due to sanctions targeting Moscow.
Moscow claims in particular that these sanctions prevent the return of a Siemens turbine which had been sent to Canada for repair. Germany, where the turbine is located, assures that it is Russia that is blocking the return of this key piece.
Since the beginning of the military intervention of the Kremlin in Ukraine, at the end of February, Russia has already stopped supplying gas through other pipelines to several countries of the European Union, such as Bulgaria and Poland.
And, in July, Gazprom had already carried out ten days of maintenance work on the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which was then put back into operation, but with a further drop in deliveries.< /p>
A German official had deemed this week's interruption technically incomprehensible, seeing it as a political maneuver by Russia.
We can no longer rely on Russia or Gazprom to meet their gas delivery commitments, Economy Minister Robert Habeck repeated this week.
It now seems that fears of a total halt in Russian deliveries as winter approaches have been confirmed.
To compensate for the missing quantities, the Europeans are scrambling to find other suppliers and reduce their consumption against a backdrop of exploding gas prices on the markets and the specter of recession.
A total cut off from Russian gas could cut French growth by one point, estimated the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire.
In Germany, the x27;activity is expected to contract in the second half, weighed down by the impact of soaring energy prices on the powerful industrial sector.
In Europe's largest economy, however, the threat of a gas shortage this winter seems to be receding. The country is struggling to reduce its dependence on Russia, where 55% of gas imports still came from in February.
Plans to install several terminals allowing the import of liquefied natural gas) have experienced a clear acceleration in Germany: the first two units should come into operation this winter.
A diversification that will help to get through the x27;winter without major disruptions, according to the German Ministry of Economics.