Russia has resumed critical gas supplies to Europe through Germany, reopening the Nord Stream gas pipeline after 10 days, but uncertainty remained whether the continent might prevent an energy crisis this winter.
" It is working," a Nord Stream spokesperson stated on Thursday, without defining the quantity of gas being delivered.
The German government had actually feared Moscow would not resume the pipeline after the set up work. It believes Russia is squeezing supplies in retaliation for western sanctions over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
According to data provided by Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom to Gascade, the German operator of the line, 530 gigawatt hours (GWh) would be delivered during the day. This was only 30% of its capability, Klaus Mueller, the president of Germany's energy regulator, the Federal Network Agency, stated on Twitter.
Gazprom has cut flows to Germany by means of the vital Nord Stream 1 pipeline by 40% in current weeks, blaming the lack of a Siemens gas turbine going through repairs in Canada. The German government has actually rejected Gazprom's description.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea has actually been shut since 11 July to undergo yearly upkeep. But the resumption of 40% of supplies would be insufficient to ward off an energy crisis in Europe this winter season, according to experts.
The European Commission on Wednesday prompted EU nations to minimize need for natural gas by 15% over the coming months to secure winter season stocks and beat Russia's "blackmail".
Announcing an emergency situation plan, EU commissioners likewise asked member states to provide Brussels special powers to impose obligatory energy rationing if Russia cuts off Europe's gas lifeline.
An overall shutdown of imports or a sharp decrease in the flow from east to west could have a catastrophic impact on the European economy, shutting factories and requiring homes to turn down the heat.
In 2015, Russia represented 40% of the EU's overall gas imports and any further disturbance to supply would likewise push consumer prices greater and raise the risk of a deep economic downturn.
" Russia is blackmailing us," said the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen. "Russia is utilizing energy as a weapon and for that reason, in any event, whether it is a partial significant cut-off of Russian gas or total cut-off,Europe needs to be ready."
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has played hot and cold in recent days in his risks to cut off gas shipments to the bloc of 27 members, but Brussels is asking EU nations to prepare for the worst.