Moscow: The Russian energy company that was due to resume gas delivery to Germany on Saturday morning, shut down the flow last evening without providing any time frame for a reopening.
The Russian energy major Gazprom extended the shutdown of gas flows through its key Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany on Friday evening, the Guardian reported.
The move came hours after G7 countries agreed to impose a price cap on Russian oil in an attempt to stem the flow of funds to Vladimir Putin’s regime.
Gazprom, the state-owned oil and gas firm, said supplies would remain halted indefinitely after a leak was detected. It said the pipeline would not restart until repairs were fully implemented.
Nord Stream 1 is the single biggest pipeline for gas from Russia to Europe and has the capacity to deliver 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year. Continued supplies through the pipeline are seen as crucial to prevent the deepening energy crisis.
In a statement on Telegram, Gazprom said: “Gas transportation to the Nord Stream gas pipeline has been completely halted until the complaints on the operation of the equipment have been eliminated.”
It said in the social media post it had identified “malfunctions” on a key turbine along the pipeline, which carries natural gas from western Russia to Germany.
Early on Wednesday, Gazprom completely halted the flow of gas through Nord Stream 1, in line with an earlier announcement, adding that the stoppage would last for three days.
Flows were due to resume just after midnight on Saturday morning.
The timing of the move raises questions over whether Putin was responding to the impending imposition of a cap on Russian oil. Finance ministers from the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Canada on Friday agreed on a plan to put a ceiling on Russian oil prices.
The proposal would mean importers seeking shipping services and insurance cover from companies based in G7 and EU countries would need to adhere to a price cap to transport Russian oil. It is likely to be introduced in December, the Guardian said.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, Putin’s regime has been accused of weaponizing gas by reducing supplies into Europe, pushing prices higher, and threatening blackouts.
Gazprom officials have already indicated they would blame sanctions for disrupting gas deliveries to Europe.