On Wednesday, gas flows via Nord Stream 1 plummeted to one-fifth of the pipeline’s capacity, causing Germany’s network authority to issue yet another plea to families and industry to conserve energy and prevent rationing.
The drop in flows comes only two days after the pipeline’s principal owner, Gazprom, announced further reductions in deliveries, the latest severe blow to Europe’s largest economy, which is still heavily reliant on the fuel.
Klaus Mueller, the head of Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur regulator, said the country might still escape a gas shortage, which would necessitate activating the next phase of an emergency plan, which would result in rationing.
However, he stated that reducing gas consumption will necessitate efforts from both industry and consumers.
“The crucial thing is to save gas,” Mueller said. “I would like to hear less complaints but reports (from industries saying) we as a sector are contributing to this,” he told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.
Since 0800 CET, 1.28 million cubic metres per hour, or around 20 per cent of Nord Stream’s maximum capacity, had been transported via Nord Stream 1 in compliance with nominations, according to Gascade.
Uniper, Germany’s largest Russian gas importer, also stated that it received barely one-fifth of the agreed-upon levels from Gazprom. The corporation has stated that it will most likely take legal action against its Russian supplier.
Germany is currently under Phase 2 of a three-stage emergency gas plan, with the final “emergency” phase set to begin once rationing cannot be avoided any longer.
“If you asked me whether it (a gas shortage) is imminent, then I would say that if flows remain at 20% and if we can still add to storage facilities in the coming days and weeks, then we do not yet have a physical gas shortage, which would be the prerequisite for Phase 3,” Mueller said.
(Adapted from reuters.com)