Nord Stream 1 is due to resume after a 10-day halt for maintenance
Pipes at the landfall facilities of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in Lubmin, Germany, March 8, 2022. /Reuters

Pipes at the landfall facilities of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in Lubmin, Germany, March 8, 2022. /Reuters

Gas deliveries from Russia to the European Union (EU) via Nord Stream 1 are expected to restart on Thursday after a 10-day halt for annual maintenance, two Russian sources familiar with the export plans were quoted by Reuters. 

German gas network operator Gascade said on Wednesday it expects flows to resume at pre-maintenance levels, which were cut to 40 percent of capacity before Russia-Ukraine crisis, based on current request for gas.  

Russia's state-owned Gazprom cut gas exports via the route in June, blaming delays to the return of a turbine that Siemens Energy was servicing in Canada. That turbine, which was caught up in sanctions, was reported to be on its way back. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin said equipment was being returned from Canada but the quality of the returned gear and other parameters meant the pipeline might still be shut down in the future. 

The EU told member states on Wednesday to cut gas usage by 15 percent from August to March, compared with their average consumption in the same period in 2016-2021. It will make the target mandatory in a supply emergency. 

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), 42 percent of the EU's natural gas imports come from Russia. Russian supplies account for more than 50 percent of eight EU countries' gas imports. Deliveries via Nord Stream 1 account for more than a third of Russian gas exports to the EU.

The IMF data also showed that European gas consumption has fallen by 9 percent this year, reducing EU GDP by 0.2 percentage points. It warned that winter suffering could be far worse, without mitigation measures. 

Industry insiders predicted that if Russia stops gas supplies to Germany, it may trigger a series of economic shocks from the energy sector to chemicals and even downstream industries, and its impact would spread across the Europe. 

Gas prices have rocketed in volatile trade since the Ukraine crisis erupted. The front-month gas contract climbed above 160 euros per megawatt hour on Wednesday, 360 percent up on a year ago but below its March peak of 335 euros.

Europe's single currency has dropped below parity against the U.S. dollar for the first time in almost 20 years, battered by growing recession fears in the euro area.  

European Central Bank policymakers are considering raising interest rates by a bigger-than-expected 50 basis points at their meeting on Thursday to tame record high inflation, according to Reuters' prediction.

Search Trends