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Gazprom casts doubt on pipeline’s quick return

BERLIN (AP) – Russian energy company Gazprom appeared to cast doubt on Wednesday on the prospects of quickly restoring the flow of natural gas to full capacity through a major pipeline to Western Europe.

Gazprom reduced the gas deliveries through Nord Stream 1 to Germany by 60 per cent last month.

The state-owned gas company cited technical problems involving a piece of equipment that partner Siemens Energy sent to Canada for overhaul and couldn’t be returned because of sanctions imposed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Canadian government said over the weekend that it would allow the gas turbine that powers a compressor station to be delivered to Germany, citing the “very significant hardship” that the German economy would suffer without a sufficient gas supply to keep industries running and generate electricity.

Gazprom tweeted on Wednesday that it “does not possess any documents that would enable Siemens to get the gas turbine engine… out of Canada”.

It added that “in these circumstances, it appears impossible to reach an objective conclusion on further developments regarding the safe operation” of a compressor station at the Russian end of the pipeline, which it said is “of critical importance”.

Siemens Energy had no comment on Gazprom’s statement.

The company previously has said that it wants to get the turbine to its location as quickly as possible and is working on the necessary permits and logistics.

Apartment houses and detached houses that are heated with gas are pictured in Frankfurt, Germany. PHOTO: AP