Ukraine battle: Russia to preserve key fuel pipeline to ecu closed - BBC

by Robert PlummerBBC information

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Gazprom launched a photo of the oil leak

Russia's gas pipeline to Germany will not reopen as deliberate on Saturday, state power company Gazprom has observed.

The firm referred to it had found an oil leak in a turbine on the Nord move 1 pipeline, which means it might be closed indefinitely.

The pipeline has been shut down for the past three days for what Gazprom described as upkeep work.

The news comes amid growing fears that families in the european will not be capable of have enough money the charge of heating this iciness.

power expenses have soared on account that Russia invaded Ukraine and scarce materials might push up the cost even additional.

Europe is attempting to wean itself off Russian energy with a purpose to cut back Moscow's capacity to finance the war, however the transition can also now not come directly ample.

ecu Council President Charles Michel talked about the Russian move was "unluckily no surprise".

"Use of gas as a weapon will now not trade the get to the bottom of of the eu. we will accelerate our direction against power independence. Our responsibility is to protect our citizens and guide the freedom of Ukraine," he tweeted.

Moscow denies the usage of power resources as an financial weapon in retaliation for Western sanctions imposed following Russia's invasion.

It has blamed the sanctions for maintaining up movements renovation of Nord flow 1, but the european says this is a pretext.

Germany's community regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur, stated the country changed into now more advantageous prepared for Russian fuel materials to stop, nevertheless it urged residents and organizations to reduce consumption.

The G7 (group of Seven) includes the united kingdom, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Their introduction of a value cap skill nations that register to the coverage may be approved to purchase best Russian oil and petroleum items transported by the use of sea which are offered at or below the fee cap.

despite the fact, Russia says it's going to now not export to international locations that participate in the cap.

The gas pipeline stretches from the Russian coast near St Petersburg to north-japanese Germany and might elevate as much as one hundred seventy million cubic metres of gas a day.

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Watch: Ros Atkins On… How this yr's biggest stories join

it is owned and operated through Nord flow AG, whose majority shareholder is Gazprom.

Germany had also up to now supported the building of a parallel pipeline - Nord circulate 2 - however the venture become halted after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Gazprom spoke of the fault had been detected at the Portovaya compressor station, with the inspection performed alongside workers from Siemens, the German firm that maintains the turbine.

It referred to that fixing of oil leaks in key engines changed into handiest feasible in specialised workshops, which had been hindered by way of Western sanctions.

however, Siemens itself referred to: "Such leaks do not at all times have an effect on the operation of a turbine and might be sealed on web page. it is a movements procedure within the scope of maintenance work."

this is now not the primary time on account that the invasion that the Nord circulate 1 pipeline has been closed.

In July, Gazprom bring to an end substances absolutely for 10 days, citing "a upkeep damage". It restarted again 10 days later, but at a a lot decreased stage.

Gazprom's St Petersburg HQ seen behind pipeline

graphic supply, EPA photograph caption,

Gazprom's St Petersburg HQ considered from a pipeline

chatting with the BBC from the Swiss capital Bern, an economist and energy analyst, Cornelia Meyer, spoke of the gasoline shutdown would have a major have an impact on on employment and costs.

"That definitely has big ramifications for gasoline in Europe which is about 4 times extra expensive than it was a yr in the past and this cost of residing crisis will definitely jump since it's no longer just gas," she stated. "fuel becomes fertiliser and or not it's used in lots of industrial approaches, so in order to affect jobs, and it'll have an effect on charges."

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Analysis box by Theo Leggett, business correspondent

The movement of fuel via Nord circulation 1 had already been decreased to a relative trickle. Now, as soon as again, it has been halted absolutely.

An oil leak, claims Gazprom - which has previously attributed reduced flows throughout the pipeline to technical concerns involving sanctions.

Europe, though, believes President Putin is weaponising gasoline materials - intentionally limiting flows through the pipeline to push up costs, in an effort to verify the unravel of Russia's critics.

The effect, as we have now already considered, is soaring energy expenses - with agencies and consumers paying a heavy rate.

The timing of Gazprom's flow is definitely unique. It comes on the equal day the G7 announced moves to cap the expense of Russia's oil exports.

nonetheless it also comes presently after Germany - which is heavily reliant on Russian gas - printed that its wintry weather storage changed into filling up sooner than expected.

A cynic could say this was a latest opportunity to tighten the screw, with a purpose to inflict maximum harm over the chillier months.

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