Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, on Wednesday followed through with its announcement earlier this week that it would further restrict the flows of natural gas to Germany and other European countries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
The news caused a jump in the already-high price for natural gas in Europe, to heights not seen since the days immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. Prices later moderated, but remain about double what they were in mid-June, when Russia began a series of restrictions on flows through the pipeline.
Data from Nord Stream showed that flows were reduced to about 20 percent of the pipeline’s capacity. Gazprom has blamed the diminished output on technical issues, a claim German officials dispute. European officials say Russia is using its diminished gas deliveries as a weapon against Europe because of its opposition to the war in Ukraine.
To deal with this shortfall of gas, amid fears that Russia may ultimately cut all deliveries to Europe, the European Union on Tuesday called on member nations to cut their use of gas by 15 percent.
In Germany, Europe’s biggest consumer of Russian gas, there is a rush to build terminals on the North Sea coast to receive shipments of liquefied natural gas, Melissa Eddy and Stanley Reed report for The New York Times. L.N.G., which arrives by seagoing tanker from producers including the United States and Qatar, was once considered an expensive alternative to Russian gas delivered by pipeline. Now it is seen as the most readily available source of fuel to make up for the shortfalls.