The Leader

New cold war on heat? Russia’s Gazprom to cut EU gas

Listen on

Episode notes

Russia’s state-controlled energy giant Gazprom says it will severely cut gas into the European Union that’s delivered through its main offshore pipeline.

Gazprom says it’s stopping operation of a compressor turbine for Nord Stream 1 - which pipes Russian gas into Germany and is already operating at reduced capacity - due to what it calls the “technical condition of the engine”.

In an escalation of Europe’s energy crisis, the move means from 4am on Wednesday, gas supplies into Germany will drop to 33 million cubic metres each day, or just 20 per cent of capacity.

The Kremlin previously blamed shortfalls caused by maintenance issues on Western sanctions, and says a second compressor is also showing defects.

It adds to winter supply security worries for Germany, where the economy ministry say officials knew of “no technical reason” to reduce deliveries via Nord Stream 1, which stretches 760 miles under the Baltic Sea.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky and the EU accuse the Kremlin of gas “blackmail”, while in the early hours of Tuesday Russian missiles attacked coastal villages in the Odessa region.

The broken turbine is reportedly still awaiting arrival after maintenance by Siemens Energy in Canada, with Moscow saying it hopes the works will be done “sooner rather than later”.

Siemens Energy says there are customs issues delivering the repaired turbine.

To unravel this latest geopolitical twist, The Leader’s joined by Professor Samir Dani, an operations management expert at Keele University who specialises in global supply chains and the impact of the Russian-Ukraine war on oil and gas prices.

We discuss the EU’s strategy to wean off Moscow-backed gas, the impact on consumers, new sources for energy and how the world’s digital economy is “entangled” with the Russian state.

It follows talks on Tuesday, where EU members agreed to 15 per cent cut in the volume of gas used by member states between August and March, in order to help build-up reserves.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.