Gas capacity | Russia reduces its gas output through Nord Stream 1 by 20%.

Gas capacity | Russia reduces its gas output through Nord Stream 1 by 20%.

The amount of gas flowing through a significant pipeline from Russia to Europe has been cut in half to 20% of its original capacity by Russia’s Gazprom.

A/P BERLIN — On Wednesday, Russia’s Gazprom reduced to 20% of capacity the amount of natural gas flowing through a significant pipeline from Russia to Europe. Russia has attributed the most recent Nord Stream 1 cutback to technical issues, but Germany views it as a political ploy to raise prices and create doubt amid the Ukraine conflict.

Due to equipment maintenance, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which runs to Germany, will see reduced flows, according to the state-controlled energy behemoth in Russia, which announced on Monday. It’s stoked new worries that Russia would fully cut off the gas that powers industry, creates electricity, and heats homes to exert political sway over Europe as it works to increase its winter storage levels.

The decline was confirmed by Nord Stream’s network statistics and Klaus Mueller, the head of Germany’s network authority.

According to Mueller, “Gas is now a part of Russian foreign policy and possibly Russian military strategy.”

On Europe’s TTF benchmark, natural gas prices have risen to heights not seen since early March, and they are now roughly six times higher than they were a year ago. Rising energy costs are contributing to record inflation, reducing people’s purchasing power, and escalating worries that Europe may enter a recession if it cannot conserve enough gas to get through the winter.

Due to this worry, EU nations decided on Tuesday to cut back on their use of natural gas to safeguard against additional Russian supply restrictions.

With voluntary actions, the proposed law seeks to reduce gas demand by 15% from August through March. If not enough savings are made, the 27-nation bloc would be forced to enact mandatory spending reductions.

Because a turbine for a compressor station needs maintenance and another turbine that was sent to Canada for repairs hasn’t yet been installed, according to Russia, which has decreased or stopped providing natural gas to 12 EU countries since the war. It said that the paperwork for the latter turbine’s return sparked concerns about Western sanctions.

Analysts and European leaders claim that the price cuts are a ruse to try to split the EU into separate countries and raise prices.

German government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann said in Berlin that “like before, we find no technical cause” for the cuts and added that “from our point of view, nothing is standing in the way of transferring the turbine to Russia.”

We won’t allow ourselves to be inspired by what we are truly witnessing, she continued.

The most recent action by Gazprom “seems to support our view that recent Russian flow reductions are a deliberate worsening in gas trade caused by geopolitical escalation, “In a research note published on Tuesday, James Huckstepp, manager of gas analytics for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at S&P Global Commodity Insights, stated.

In light of this, we will be more skeptical of Russian imports in the months to come “said Huckstepp.

Recently, nearly one-third of Germany’s gas imports came from Russia. The government announced last week that it would increase its gas storage requirements and take additional steps to save supply after saying that the decline in gas flows proved that Germany cannot rely on Russian exports.

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