Money and Markets

Russia's Gazprom cuts Nord Stream gas flows to just 20% only days after restarting the pipeline

Business Insider US
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • Russia's state-run energy giant is cutting flows again, just days after resuming deliveries.
  • Gazprom said it will slash gas flows via the Nord Stream pipeline to 20% starting Wednesday.
  • Natural gas futures in Europe jumped as much as 10% on the news. 
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Russia's state-run energy giant will cut natural gas flows to Europe further starting Wednesday, less than a week after the key pipeline restarted deliveries. 

Gazprom said Monday it would pull back the Nord Stream's capacity to just 20%, after reducing flows to Europe to 40% earlier. Natural gas futures in Europe jumped as much as 10% on the news. 

The pipeline restarted on Thursday after shutting down for 10 days for annual maintenance. But before that, gas flows were slashed to 40% of capacity as Gazprom cited problems with a turbine, though European officials have accused Moscow of weaponising energy as retaliation for sanctions Europe imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine.

On Monday, Gazprom said a second turbine will be removed for maintenance, though Germany there's no technical reason for a reduction.

The latest pullback adds further stress to Europe's energy crunch and adds more uncertainty to the bloc's plan to shore up gas inventories ahead of winter months. 

The European Union had already anticipated further complications with the Nord Stream pipeline, and asked member countries last week to compose plans to reduce gas consumption 15% by August 1. The cuts would be voluntary but the EU warned they could become mandatory if the energy crisis worsens.

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