BERLIN: Germany’s gas regulator said today a gas shortage was still avoidable, even as Russian supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline into Germany are set to halve, but warned industries and consumers would have to work harder to save gas.
State-controlled Russian giant Gazprom has said flows will fall to 33 million cubic metres per day, a fifth of the normal capacity, from today because it needed to halt the operation of a gas turbine at a compressor station on instructions from an industry watchdog.
Requests for Russian natural gas flows through Nord Stream 1 into Germany nearly halved from 8am today, data from the pipeline operator showed.
Nominations were at 14,423,764 kilowatt hours an hour (kWh/h) for 8am-9am onwards, down from levels above 27,000,000 kWh/h previously.
Klaus Mueller, head of Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur regulator, said the country, which is heavily reliant on Russian supply, could still avoid a gas shortage that would require it to trigger the next phase of an emergency plan that would prompt rationing.
But he said it would require efforts by both industries and consumers to reduce gas usage.
“The crucial thing is to save gas,” Mueller said. “I would like to hear less complaints but reports (from industries saying) we as a sector are contributing to this,” he told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.
The European Union has repeatedly accused Russia of resorting to energy blackmail but the Kremlin says shortfalls in supply have been caused by maintenance issues and the impact of Western sanctions.