Russia Restarts Gas Supply To Germany After Fears Of A Total Shutdown
Data on operator Nord Stream’s website showed that flows increased from zero to 29,284,591 kWh/h on 21 July.
Starting on 11 July, when the Nord Stream 1 closed down for a 10 day maintenance, many in Europe feared that Moscow would not resume gas deliveries after the maintenance period.
Russia has resumed flow of natural gas to Germany. This has eased fears in Europe that Nord Stream 1, a key pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany, would be weaponised by Russia.
Western allies, including Germany, are continuing to supply Ukraine with armaments, which is hindering the pace of Russia's operations.
According to a report from the NYTimes, "the Pentagon said on Wednesday that it would send Ukraine four more advanced multiple-rocket launch vehicles, known as HIMARS, and senior defense officials acknowledged that they were considering sending Ukraine new fighter jets."
"Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chief of staff of the United States Air Force, declined to speculate on what type of aircraft might be transferred, but he said that discussions were ongoing about how to reinforce Ukraine’s fleet," NYTimes reported.
As a result of this, when the Nord Stream 1 closed down for a 10 day maintenance, many in the continent feared that Moscow would not resume gas deliveries after the 10 day maintenance period.
These fears shined a light on Germany's energy policy, which is especially consequential for the continent because Germany is Europe's largest economy. Many have since then criticised Germany's dangerous dependence on Russian energy.
Data on operator Nord Stream’s website showed that flows increased from zero to 29,284,591 kWh/h for 0600-0700 Central European Time on Thursday (21 July).
And 10 July was the last date of operations before the maintenance period began. On 10 July, flow were just above the 29,000,000 kWh/h.
It is worth flagging though that flows are running at reduced volumes, and have been since the war began. Moscow has been squeezing supplies to the European region.
Still, this news is likely to be a welcome relief to European officials who just some time ago were scrambling to find alternative suppliers to Russian gas.
As of now, the EU has negotiated new gas deals with the United States and Azerbaijan, along with holding talks with Israel and Qatar.
Although, EU faces a problem. Building the infrastructure needed to import gas from new suppliers is expensive and time consuming. It is unlikely that Russian gas can be replaced completely before the coming winter.
Germany, and the EU as a whole as well, have been dependent on Russian fossil fuels for years. Since the Russo-Ukrainian war began, there has been an attempt to reverse this.
Despite the resumption of gas flow, European Union leaders believe that Russia will continue to exploit EU members’ dependence on Russian fossil fuels.
They believe Russia's goal is to weaken the countries’ economies and fracture the alliance.
Ursula von der Leyen, who has introduced a plan to reduce gas consumption said that, "Russia is blackmailing us, Russia is using energy as a weapon".
"Despite news that flows have restarted, the EU will continue to push ahead with contingency plans in case of a full shutdown in gas supplies from Russia. The commission has told the 27 EU nations that they need to cut their gas consumption by 15 per cent until March, in an effort to save energy," reads a report from CNBC.
Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, denied that Russia was using gas for political blackmail.
Russian gas is crucial for Germany. Half of all homes are heated with gas. Moreover, Russian gas is a crucial element to keep Germany's chemical, steel making and auto industries functioning.
By the time the day of maintenance shut down neared, Russia had already reduced flows through the pipeline to 40 per cent of its capacity.
Klaus Muller, the head of Germany's network regulator stated that flows have returned to that level, which exceeds the amount that Gazprom, Russia's state owned energy monopoly, had told would be delivered.
“Unfortunately, the political uncertainty and the 60 per cent cut from mid-June remain,” Mr. Müller said to the Times.
Also Read: Europe May Face Energy Rationing As "Tough Winter" Looms Amid Escalating Gas Prices, Warns Shell CEO
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