Claims by Russian state gas company Gazprom that it shut down the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline because of an engine leak are likely false, German engineering company Siemens Energy has said.
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on Sept. 2 that Gazprom stopped the gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, citing a leak at the main gas turbine at the Portovaya compressor station near St. Petersburg.
The announcement didn’t provide for a time frame for when supplies could be restarted.
“Such leaks do not normally affect the operation of a turbine and can be sealed on site,” Siemens Energy said in response to the reports.
“It is a routine procedure within the scope of maintenance work.”
According to Siemens Energy, “in the past, too, the occurrence of this type of leak has not led to a shutdown of operations.”
“Siemens Energy is not currently contracted to carry out maintenance work, but is on standby,” the company said.
“Irrespective of this, we have already pointed out several times that there are sufficient other turbines available at the Portovaya compressor station for Nord Stream 1 to operate.”
The White House has already reacted to the situation, stating bluntly that Moscow is using the gas shutdown as a tool to pressure Europe.
“It is unfortunately not surprising that Russia continues to use energy as a weapon against European consumers,” a U.S. National Security Council spokesperson told the Reuters news agency in an email about the shutdown of the pipeline.
The NSC spokesperson added that the United States and Europe have been collaborating to ensure sufficient supplies are available.
“As a result of these efforts, European gas storage will be full by the critical winter heating season,” the spokesperson said.
“(But) these efforts alone will not suffice, and we will continue to work together to address the concerning energy picture in Europe.”