Employees work at the Alexander Zhagrin oilfield operated by Gazprom Neft in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area–Yugra, Russia, in this picture released August 30, 2022. Stoyan Vassev/Press service of Gazprom Neft/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT.

According to Gazprom, the supply of Russian gas to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will remain interrupted for an indefinite period. The reason given by the Russian energy company in a statement on Friday evening was repair work on a turbine where an oil leak had occurred.

“Until the repair (…) the supply of gas via Nord Stream is completely suspended,” Gazprom said.

Gas supplies through Nord Stream 1 had been stopped since Wednesday. Gazprom had given regular maintenance work on a compressor station as the reason for this. Gas deliveries through the pipeline were supposed to start again on Saturday.

The group has now announced that during maintenance work on the turbine it was found that oil was leaking. The leak was found during a joint technical inspection with representatives of the German Siemens group. Siemens is the manufacturer of the turbine.

The oil leak was discovered on cables connected to the speedometers on a turbine blade, Gazprom said. In the online service Telegram, the company published a photo of cables smeared with a brownish liquid.

The Federal Ministry of Economics then emphasized the security of the gas supply in the evening. “The situation on the gas market is tense, but security of supply is guaranteed,” said a spokeswoman on Friday evening

The spokeswoman said they took note of the latest reports from Gazprom. “We are not commenting on the matter, but we have already seen Russia’s unreliability in the past few weeks and accordingly we have unwaveringly and consistently continued our measures to strengthen independence from Russian energy imports. As a result, we are now much better prepared than we were a few months ago.”

However, after Gazprom’s announcement, the Federal Network Agency has emphasized the importance of Germany’s precautionary measures. “In view of the Russian decision not to let any gas flow via Nord Stream 1 for the time being, the LNG terminals, the relevant storage levels and the need for significant savings are gaining in importance,” tweeted the President of the Authority, Klaus Müller, on Friday.

“It’s good that Germany is now better prepared, but now it depends on everyone,” Müller continued. Germany now receives by far the most natural gas from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium.

According to the Federal Network Agency, around 2,900 gigawatt hours of natural gas flowed from these countries to Germany on Thursday. For comparison: On Monday, the last day before the announced supply reduction, Nord Stream 1 transported around 348 gigawatt hours of Russian natural gas.

The quantity stored was always a multiple of this delivery quantity from Russia. For example, 965 gigawatt hours of natural gas were stored in Germany on Tuesday.

The spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Economics also explained that the gas storage facilities were 84.3 percent full. “The October storage target of 85 percent should therefore already be reached in the first few days of September.” Good progress is also being made with supply via other delivery routes than Russian pipelines and new landing capacities for liquid gas.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has accused Gazprom of stopping the flow of gas on false pretenses. “Gazprom’s announcement this afternoon that it will shut down Nord Stream 1 again under false pretenses is further evidence of its unreliability as a supplier,” a spokesman for the EU Commission wrote on Twitter on Friday evening.

It is also a testament to Russia’s cynicism, preferring to burn gas rather than fulfill contracts.