Speed Reads

bad energy

Russia shuts off Nord Stream gas pipeline indefinitely

Russia on Friday indefinitely halted natural gas imports to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, adding to fears of a looming European energy crisis.

Energy company Gazprom, which The Wall Street Journal notes is controlled by the Kremlin, said it would not restart the pipeline on Saturday (as planned) due to an oil leak; the company also did not give an estimate as to when service might resume. The pipeline had been closed since Wednesday for maintenance. 

"Until the issues on the operation of the equipment are resolved, gas supplies to the Nord Stream gas pipeline have been completely stopped," Gazprom wrote in a statement, per CNN.

Notably, the announcement from Gazprom arrived not long after G-7 countries said they'd be imposing a cap on the price of Russian oil so as to ding Moscow (and its war in Ukraine) financially. The level of that cap will be discussed at a future meeting, the Journal notes.

Europe is decently dependent on Russian gas ... and a blow to its supply just before winter is the last thing the continent needs, CNN adds. Plus, Moscow has already retaliated against certain European countries who refused to pay for supplies in rubles, while Gazprom has kept flows through Nord Stream 1 "to just 20 percent of its capacity" since June, "citing maintenance issues and a dispute over a missing turbine caught up in Western export sanctions."