Contact Us

German economy minister fears complete shutdown of Nord Stream 1

Published June 30,2022

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has said he is concerned that Russian gas deliveries via the Baltic Nord Stream 1 pipeline will cease completely in the coming weeks, as the country rushes to find alternative sources for gas imports.

He was fearing a "blockade of Nord Stream 1 as a whole" from July 11, Habeck told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Thursday. While the gas supply over the summer was guaranteed, winter could be really problematic, he said.

Russian energy giant Gazprom has already greatly reduced gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline citing technical issues. On July 11, the pipeline will be totally shut down for its annual 10-day maintenance period.

However, it wouldn't be "super-surprising" if Russia found a maintenance issue that is impossible to resolve, Habeck said, suggesting that the country might use this as an excuse to halt gas deliveries entirely. "Therefore the situation is indeed very tense."

Currently, Germany's storage facilities are at 61%, according to the Federal Network Agency.

Following the Nord Stream reduction, Germany declared the alarm stage of its emergency gas plan, as it reduces its dependence on Russian energy. Moscow scaling back of gas supplies to Western nations is seen as retaliation for sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine.

Consumers in Germany are apparently already preparing for higher gas prices and shortages, with consumption in the first five months of the year down by 14.3% on the previous year, according to the German Energy and Water Association (BDEW).

After taking the mild temperatures between January and May into account, the association still recorded a decrease of 6.5%.

According to the Economy Ministry, the government is currently holding talks on stabilization measures with energy supplier Uniper due to sharply rising gas prices and reduced Russian deliveries.

After conceding its earnings forecasts for the current year, Uniper is examining how the liquidity of the company can be further secured, it announced on Wednesday evening.