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Physical natural gas flows on the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany dropped to 13 million kWh/h on early Friday afternoon in Europe, data from Nord Stream showed.
The flows were at 13 million kWh/h between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. CET on Friday, down from 14.48 million kWh/h in the previous hour. Nominations for today and for Saturday remain steady at 14.574 million kWh/h, according to the Nord Stream flows data.
Earlier on Friday, gas flows were steady on the Nord Stream pipeline, which now sends gas from Russia to Europe at just 20% of its capacity.
Benchmark natural gas prices in Europe have soared to records in recent weeks after Russia said that gas supply via Nord Stream would be cut to just 20% of the pipeline's capacity, days after Gazprom restarted the pipeline at the end of July at 40% capacity after regular 10-day maintenance. The Russian explanation for the even lower gas flows to Europe was that another turbine at a compressor station was sent for repairs, while the one that Canada returned from repairs has yet to be installed.
There is little Russia can do to help with repairs of equipment at Nord Stream compressor stations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this month.
Last week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz laid the blame on Russia, again, saying that the turbine was ready for work and Germany was ready to ship it. Scholz was pictured by Reuters standing next to the turbine during his visit to Siemens Energy's site in Muelheim an der Ruhr in Germany.
"It's quite clear and simple: the turbine is there and can be delivered, but someone needs to say 'I want to have it'," Scholz said as carried by Reuters.
Germany and the EU are bracing for further reductions in Russian gas supply ahead of the winter, even if the turbine makes it to Russia.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com