By Constanze Stelzenmüller“We just don’t know. Everything is possible.” This was German Economics Minister Robert Habeck’s succinct response to the question currently consuming his country’s government, industry and public: When the 10-day scheduled maintenance to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline ends on July 21, will the Russian state-controlled gas exporter Gazprom resume deliveries? Or will Vladimir Putin perform a gasectomy on Germany?
A graph in the Federal Network Agency’s latest supply status report shows how much gas is currently flowing in at three connector points for Russian gas on Germany’s eastern border: none. “The situation,” says the agency, “is tense and a worsening of the situation cannot be ruled out.”
That is a bit of an understatement. Nord Stream 1 supplies 58% of Germany’s annual gas needs. The benchmark European TTF gas price has already risen by more than 130% since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, to more than €170 per megawatt hour. In late June, after Russia reduced supplies by 60%, Berlin triggered the second stage of its national gas emergency plan — one step away from gas rationing.
Germany also receives gas from Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium. But Russia could have redirected its gas via …read more