Gazprom, the Russian energy major, on Wednesday halted natural gas supply to Europe.
The company in a statement said the only gas compressor unit that is currently in operation, will be shut down for a three-day servicing and preventive maintenance period.
It said the gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will be suspended between August 31 and September 2 for maintenance of the gas compressor unit.
The operations under the current service maintenance contract will be performed jointly with Siemens.
It said according to the technical specifications provided by Siemens, the unit must undergo technical maintenance every 1,000 hours, namely, the casing must be inspected for cracks, dents, deformations and burn-throughs, and cleaned.
“The oil, air and gas combustion venting systems must be checked for leaks, connections must be tightened, and the causes of leaks must be eliminated, the safety valves must be subjected to performance checks and the airflow control system must undergo adjustments.
“Upon the completion of maintenance operations, provided that no malfunctions are identified, gas transmission will be resumed at the rate of 55 million cubic meters per day,” the company said.
The Germany Federal Network Agency chief Klaus Mueller was quoted by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as saying the shutdown was a “technically incomprehensible” decision and likely just a pretext by Moscow to use its energy supplies as a threat.
Moscow “makes a political decision after every so-called maintenance. “We’ll only know at the beginning of September if Russia does that again,” he said.
In April, Russia cut gas deliveries to Bulgaria and Poland and in May, Finland and Netherlands were cut off also on the grounds that they refuse to pay in rubles.
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