October 2, 2023

Russia’s Nord Stream 1 pipeline outage extended until April

Russia’s single largest export pipeline to the EU, Nord Stream 1, will remain unavailable this winter. The pipeline’s unplanned outage was extended until April. The EU is striving to replace the lost Nord Stream 1 supplies and overall most of the lost Russian pipeline supplies with global LNG.

Nord Stream AG, the operator of Nord Stream 1, extended the unplanned outage to Apr. 1, 2023, Austria’s CEGH REMIT platform showed on Monday after the market close. Any potential market reaction will happen on Tuesday morning.

The outage was initially planned to last a month until Oct. 26, after explosions hit the pipeline and created holes in it. Sweden later confirmed the explosions were the result of sabotage. On Oct. 25, the operator Nord Stream AG extended the outage until Dec. 1.

But given the extent of the damage to the pipeline, the market did not expect the pipeline to be operational this winter, which may result in a muted market reaction on Tuesday morning.

The 55 bn m3 Nord Stream 1 is a direct offshore pipeline between Russia and Germany through which Germany used to receive the majority of its gas supplies. Following technical issues discovered during planned maintenance in late August, Russian state-controlled producer Gazprom indefinitely shut down the pipeline.

The drop in flows via Nord Stream 1 has caused unprecedented supply disruptions in the EU. As an indication of the significance of Nord Stream 1 for the EU gas supply, Nord Stream 1 supplied the bloc with 57.63 bn m3 last year, or 14% of the EU gas consumption that year, according to data from the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) and Eurostat.

Russian supplies via Nord Stream 1 this year until it shut down totalled 29.17 bn m3, which is around 23.09 bn m3 (17.13 mt) less than during the same period last year, ENTSOG data show. So far this year, the EU imported around 89.69 mt of LNG (120.87 bn m3 of regasified gas), which is 32.31 mt (43.54 bn m3) more than during the same period last year, Kpler data show. This indicates the EU replaces the lost Nord Stream 1 supplies with LNG. Russia also cut supplies to the EU via smaller routes like the Yamal pipeline crossing Belarus and Poland, and small pipelines with Finland and the Baltics.

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