Russia’s Gazprom PJSC said in a Wednesday statement it currently had no indication vital equipment for its Nord Stream 1 (NS1) pipeline would be returned from Canada, potentially reversing hopes of a quick restoration of natural gas capacity for Europe.
A gas turbine engine from one of NS1’s compressor stations (CS) has been under maintenance by a Canadian arm of Germany’s Siemens AG since before Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Gazprom previously reduced western gas flows to about 40% of total capacity on the NS1 pipeline, citing the absence of one of the compressor station’s eight engines and other maintenance issues.
Canadian officials confirmed Monday the country would allow the engine to be returned, but Gazprom’s statement cast doubts on a return to service for the station. The state-owned gas and oil firm said it “does not possess any documents that would enable Siemens to get the gas turbine engine for the Portovaya CS out of Canada…
“In these circumstances, it appears impossible to reach an objective conclusion on further developments regarding the safe operation of the Portovaya CS, a facility of critical importance to the Nord Stream gas pipeline,” representatives for the company wrote.
The pipeline system went offline for scheduled maintenance Monday and isn’t expected to return until July 21. Several European officials have warned that Russia might not resume flows to the continent amid the West’s standoff with the Kremlin over the war in Ukraine.
Representatives with Siemens told NGI Canada’s “political export decision” was an “important first step,” but the company is still progressing through the intricate processes of returning the engine to Gazprom.
“Currently, our experts are working intensively on all further formal approvals and logistics; among other things, this involves legally required export and import control procedures,” Siemens representatives said in a statement to NGI. “Our goal is to transport the turbine to its place of operation as quickly as possible.”
Monday’s news of a possible increase in capacity in the near future caused the Title Transfer Facility (TTF) prompt contract to retreat from a previous four-month high. Prices on the continent have since seesawed on the news of a gas field outage in Norway. They closed higher Wednesday.
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