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Turbine Trouble Could Cause Further Gas Supply Shortages In Europe

Russia will install the repaired turbine being returned from Canada at a Nord Stream compressor station when all formalities of the technological process are completed, but Gazprom identified problems with the documentation process that is creating a holdup.

There are issues at other turbines, as well, of which Siemens is well aware, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. 

“Of course, the turbine will be installed. We know that we have issues with other turbines, too, and Siemens is well aware of this,” Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian state-controlled media. 

“The turbine will be installed once all formalities of the technological process are completed. And gas flows will be in such as volume that is technically possible,” Peskov said. 

But Gazprom issued a statement on Monday identifying “additional questions” that arose when studying the documents it received from Siemens. 

“Gazprom received from Siemens documents issued by the Canadian authorities. However, after studying the documents, Gazprom had to conclude that they do not eliminate the previously identified risks and give rise to additional questions,” the statement reads.

Gazprom added that “the issues regarding the sanctions imposed by the EU and the UK remain unsolved for Gazprom,” and that resolving this issue is “important for delivering the engine to Russia and performing urgent major repair of other turbine engines from the Portovaya CS.”

Russia restarted gas flows via Nord Stream after a 10-day hiatus due to regular maintenance of the major gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Flows resumed at around 40% of Nord Stream’s capacity, the level from before the maintenance after Russia slashed flows in the middle of June. 

On Monday, flows on the pipeline remained stable at around 40%, while the eastbound flow from Germany to Poland via the Yamal-Europe pipeline slightly increased, according to pipeline operators’ data cited by Reuters

Related: Uncertainty Over Russian Gas Supply Threatens EU Cohesion

Russia claims that Nord Stream can now only operate at 40% capacity because of delays in the return of the turbine that was repaired by Siemens at a Canadian facility. Those delays are due to the sanctions the West has placed on Russia, Moscow says.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that Gazprom could cut natural gas flows to Europe via Nord Stream even more due to slow progress with the maintenance of the gas turbines at compressor stations. Another gas turbine is scheduled to be sent for maintenance on July 26, Putin said last Wednesday. 

Despite the restart of Nord Stream, uncertainty over the gas flows via Nord Stream sent benchmark European and UK gas prices up in early trade on Monday morning. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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