Gazprom declares force majeure on contracts: press
Russia's Gazprom has declared force majeure on gas supplies to at least one major customer in Europe, according to a letter from the company dated July 14 and seen by Reuters on July 18.
The letter said Gazprom could not fulfil its supply obligations owing to "extraordinary" circumstances beyond its control. A source told Reuters that the letter concerned supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which flows Russian gas to Germany and other major markets in central Europe.
The EU has vowed to eliminate Russian gas imports by 2027 in response to Moscow's war in Ukraine, but Gazprom has already cut supplies significantly over the last few months – a move that European leaders have claimed is an effort to destabilise European energy markets.
Gazprom has already cut supply to Europe by over 55% this year, and is set to pump 70bn m3 less gas to the continent over the course of 2022.
The company has blamed Siemens' failure to return a gas turbine on time for the 60% reduction in gas flow via Nord Stream 1 in the weeks prior to the pipeline's closure for 10 days of scheduled maintenance on July 11. The government of Canada, where the unit was repaired, issued a sanctions exemption that allows its return.
The Moscow-based Kommersant newspaper has reported that the unit was delivered on a plane to Germany on July 17. Previously it was expected to be delivered by boat, which would have taken considerably longer. It will take another five to seven days to arrive in Russia, assuming no logistical and customs problems, according to Kommersant. It will then take three or four days to be reinstalled and commissioned at the Portovaya compressor station.