According to the state energy company Gazprom, the gas pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany will not reopen as scheduled on Saturday.
The company reported that an oil leak had been discovered in a turbine on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which resulted in the pipeline being shut down indefinitely.
In order to perform what Gazprom described as maintenance work, the pipeline has been offline for the past three days.
The information comes at a time when there are growing concerns that families in the Eastern Europe will not be able to afford the cost of heating their homes this winter.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the cost of energy has skyrocketed, and limited supplies may cause prices to rise even further in the future.
The European Union is making efforts to wean itself off of Russian energy to reduce Moscow’s ability to finance the war; however, it is possible that the transition will not take place quickly enough.
Moscow has denied using energy supplies as a form of economic retaliation in response to sanctions imposed by the West as a result of Russia’s invasion of another country.
It has stated that routine maintenance on Nord Stream 1 has been delayed as a result of the sanctions, but the EU has stated that this is merely a pretext.
Although the German network regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur, stated that the country was now better prepared for the cessation of Russian gas supplies, it urged German citizens and businesses to reduce their consumption.
The announcement from Gazprom came not long after the G7 countries reached an agreement to put a ceiling on the price of Russian oil in support of Ukraine.
The United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan comprise the Group of Seven (G7).
Because of their introduction of a price cap, countries that sign up to the policy will be allowed to purchase only Russian oil and petroleum products transported via sea and sold at or below the price cap. This will only apply to purchases of Russian oil and petroleum products.
On the other hand, Russia has stated that it will not export any goods to the countries that are part of the cap.
The capacity of the gas pipeline allows it to transport up to 170 million cubic meters of gas per day and stretches from the coast of Russia near St. Petersburg to the northeastern part of Germany.
Nord Stream AG, of which Gazprom is the majority shareholder, is the entity that owns and operates the pipeline.
Additionally, Germany had previously shown support for the construction of a parallel pipeline known as Nord Stream 2, but this support was withdrawn after Russia invaded Ukraine and the project was put on hold.
Gazprom stated that the issue was discovered at the Portovaya compressor station, and workers from Siemens, a German company that assists with the maintenance of pipelines, were present during the inspection to help identify the problem.
It maintained that the only way to repair oil leaks in key engines was in specialized workshops, which western sanctions had hampered. These workshops, however, were not available.
Since the invasion, this is not the first time that the Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been shut down for an extended period of time.
In the month of July, Gazprom suspended all deliveries entirely for a period of ten days, citing “a maintenance break.” After ten days, it started up once more, albeit at a significantly lower level.