Nord Stream Resumed Working After Repairs
The Baltic gas pipeline from Russia to Germany Nord Stream on Sunday morning started working after scheduled maintenance, according to data from European gas transport operators.
The pipeline, which pumps up to 170 million cubic meters of gas per day, stopped on July 14. Usually, during its repair, pumping through Ukraine was significantly increased. However, this time there was no increase in transit. Transit through Ukraine this month averaged 160 million cubic meters per day. The transit contract for 2020 provides for pumping 65 billion cubic meters, which is 178 million cubic meters per day.
At the same time, a massive withdrawal of gas from storage facilities in major European countries - primarily in Germany and Austria, as well as in the Netherlands and France - began, which almost completely replaced deliveries via Nord Stream.
Paradoxically, Gazprom managed to avoid increasing gas transit through Ukraine thanks to the same Ukrainian factor. Last year, in the face of a strong political and judicial standoff, a long - term transit contract was coming to an end, and in the situation of uncertain transit through Ukraine, Gazprom pumped huge volumes of gas into Europe's storage facilities (11.4 billion cubic meters-twice as much as a year earlier), and most of this gas was not spent during the warm winter of 2019-2020.
However, this massive selection failed to reverse the General trend of continued UGS filling in Europe. They are now more than 84% full and in some countries more than 90% full. The record level of storage capacity is one of the negative drivers in the European gas market, where spot prices are drifting below $60 per thousand cubic meters. The shutdown of Nord Stream did not affect gas prices in the EU.
The Nord Stream project was implemented by an international consortium of five major European energy companies, established in 2005 to design, build and operate a gas pipeline consisting of two strands of 1,224 km each along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Nord Stream AG's shareholders are Gazprom, Germany's Wintershall Dea GmbH, and PEG Infrastruktur AG (E. ON), N. V. Nederlandse Gasunie and France's Engie. The project capacity of the pipeline is 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Two lines of the gas pipeline were started in turn in 2011 and 2012.