Gazprom Turbine Games

Let the Games Begin!

So Germany got Canada to send the needed “repaired turbine” to Germany for onward delivery to Russia. All to get that good old Russian Gas flowing again.


Now Russia volleys with “paperwork” issues. See, what with all this sanctions and such, and what with the return process being a bit, er, irregular: The contractual and paperwork / regulatory issues don’t line up. So, not going to get that pipeline repaired after all… maybe.

3 Aug, 2022 19:23
Home Business News

Russian gas giant warns it can’t accept key turbine

Western embargoes make the process impossible, Russian energy giant says

Western sanctions make it impossible to properly return a turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, Russian energy giant Gazprom claimed on Wednesday. The missing equipment has been the key reason for supply cuts.

Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch earlier said that the German company had fulfilled all conditions for sending the repaired turbine back to Russia. According to Bruch, the company is “extremely interested” in advancing the process and blamed missing documents from the Russian side for the delay.

Um, I think “extremely interested” is putting it mildly… I’d figure it more like ‘desperately panicking’ as the fate of their country and the EU hang in the balance.

“The sanctions regimes of Canada, the EU, the UK and the inconsistency of the current situation with the current contractual obligations on the part of Siemens make the delivery of the 073 engine to the Portovaya [compressor station] impossible,” Gazprom said on Wednesday.
On July 27, Russian gas supplies to Europe via Nord Stream dropped to 20% of their maximum level, due to Gazprom decommissioning another gas turbine engine at the Portovaya compressor station.

Vitaly Markelov, deputy head of Gazprom, said that Siemens was not fulfilling its obligations to repair faulty engines for Nord Stream. According to Markelov, several engines at the compressor station are currently idle due to emergency failures, since Siemens has not repaired them.

On July 29, Markelov said that the delivery of the turbine from Canada to Germany, instead of Russia, did not comply with the contract. In addition, he said that Gazprom has not received from Siemens a complete package of documents that allow the transportation and repair of engines for the gas pipeline.

Just masterfully played. ~”You, Germany, have a contract to repair and maintain. You are not doing that, and your process is now out of contract terms. So no gas for you until you get the sanctions gone and return to contract terms.”

4 Aug, 2022 07:18
Home Business News

Russian gas turbine stuck in transit

Moscow and Berlin have exchanged accusations over the delay
Russian gas turbine stuck in transit

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz went to see the gas turbine that triggered the escalation of an energy standoff between Russia and the EU on Wednesday.

After inspecting part of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and declaring that “the turbine works,” Scholz blamed Moscow for delays in its return and the subsequent reduction of gas flow from Russia to Germany. The Siemens-made equipment had been serviced in Canada and was supposed to be returned to Russia, but international sanctions made that impossible, and the part has since been stranded in Germany.

“[The turbine] can be transported and used at any time,” the chancellor said during a factory visit to Siemens Energy in Muelheim an der Ruhr. “The nonfulfillment of the gas supply contracts has no technical reasons whatsoever,” he added.

Germany has blamed Moscow for deliberately blocking the return process and using the turbine as a pretext to reduce the gas flow. Chancellor Scholz said the turbine had received “all the approvals” necessary for export from Germany to Russia, and it was Gazprom’s turn to provide the customs information to enable the shipment.

Gazprom, however, said on Wednesday that Western sanctions make it impossible to return the pipeline equipment properly.

Russian gas giant warns it can’t accept key turbine

It was reported last month that the turbine was set to be sent to Russia within days. As of Thursday, however, it is still in Germany.

Another Siemens turbine was disabled at a compressor station last month due to its technical condition, with gas flow via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline falling to just 20% capacity.

On Wednesday, turbine manufacturer Siemens confirmed that only one out of six of its Nord Stream 1 turbines is currently operational and that five are needed to pump at 100% capacity.

Moscow has repeatedly said that international sanctions are essentially making it impossible to boost supplies to the EU as they prevent due maintenance of the equipment.

So there’s the “game” and strategy. Just take the turbines / engines out of service, one by one, with the last one likely to be shut down just as it turns cold…

What can the EU / Germany do to fix this other than remove the sanctions? I can’t see anything. Russia will insist on “Normal order of business” and Germany will run out of gas & fuel. End game; collapse of Germany and with it the EU.

I also can’t see any reason at all for Russia to NOT play this hand out to the end. They have alternative customers for the gas (or can just leave it in the ground as a future resource). They don’t need the money, certainly not as a cratering Euro. It cripples and potentially ends the EU & Germany as a threat. What’s not to like from their POV?

The “carrot” is an implied promise to return to normal order of business if the sanctions are removed (though I suspect they would find a ‘need’ for their stolen cash to be returned first…). I doubt there is any way to get that all done prior to the onset of cold; especially with neither the EU nor Russia really wanting to fix everything.

In comments on the articles some folks were saying to hold out for putting Nord Stream 2 in service. Interesting… they have a fully functional delivery system not in use for political reasons… so could bypass the whole “repair parts” problem by turning it on. But that would require The West to admit blocking it was a FUBAR…

The sanctions were a crap idea from the start, and anyone with a lick of sense about combat knew it. In war, one of the prime targets is the fuel supply of the opponent. The EU, by banning their own fuel supply, indulged in “Friendly Fire”. Russia recognized this, and just played into it.

Well, according to the wiki on Berlin, it starts cooling off in September and heads into cold in October. Coldest is January. So figure Russia will let them twist on one turbine / 20% gas, into September. About 50 days. Then fail the final one for full gas shutoff about October 1 (in time to screw up Oktoberfest…) then watch it all crumble in November to January. So about 3 to 6 months for Germany to grind to a halt and the EU with it.

What are the odds that the EU / USA decide to “give it up” (and give back the cash…) in the next 2 to 3 months? IF they don’t do it by end of September, is it even possible to get Nord Stream I fixed and running in time? Without BOTH I and II, can enough gas be supplied to Germany (given that winter storage is near empty…) to get it through winter?

I have this feeling like I’m watching a very slow speed train wreak in progress…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Economics - Trading - and Money, Emergency Preparation and Risks, News Related. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Gazprom Turbine Games

  1. bob sykes says:

    While the sanctions are a major cause of the energy shortages in Europe, it should be noted that Germany’s Energiewende program had already put Germany’s energy supply in danger of failing this winter. All of this pain is self-inflicted.

  2. Rudolph Hucker says:

    ” In war, one of the prime targets is the fuel supply of the opponent”

    Germany, of all places, should have remembered that better than any other EU country.
    and :
    and :

    It seems like the Russians have longer memories (like they remember the Ukrainian members of the Waffen-SS)

  3. jim2 says:

    Never fear. Germany has solar and wind power. No worries!

  4. philjourdan says:

    @Jim2 – LIttle Big Man – “as long as the grass grows, the wind blows and the waters flow. But sometimes the grass don’t grow, the wind don’t blow and the water don’t flow”.

    But hey! 300 years ago, we did not use fossil fuels!

  5. John Hultquist says:

    I thought this was interesting:
    “Siemens confirmed that only one out of six of its Nord Stream 1 turbines is currently operational ..”

    This may just be a political issue, but if not, or it could be an indication of the quality of the Siemens products. There is a song by Meat Loaf: “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad”” but 1 out of 6 is not good.
    In 2018 “The Donald” warned Germany and the EU about reliance on Russian gas. Long before he became the president, others warned of the disastrous German ‘Energiewende’ – “energy turnaround.”
    I suspect something like that was on this site years ago — but I’m not going to try and find it. Notrickzone comes to mind.
    – – – – – –
    Rudloph says: Russians have longer memories
    “Russkiy mir” or Russian World goes back (in print) to the 11th Century.

  6. Taz says:

    It’s spilt milk.

    I’m glad that Germany /Europe TRIED to have normal mutually beneficial trading relations with Russia, but am now relieved they recognized their error in becoming dependent. Russia just isn’t a reliable partner for anything.

    So now Europe is painfully correcting their mistakes, and “rest of world” should not add to their woes.

    The ideal outcome now would be for Ukraine to adopt Norway’s policies regarding national fossil fuels (protect them for the nation), then become Europe’s reliable fuel source. Even then, Europe should only be buying from a diversified mix of energy sources.

  7. Graeme No.3 says:

    The German policy re power & heat has been almost as lunatic as that of the UK. ‘Sun & wind will suffice’ or ‘Back to the Seventeenth Century’. The difference is that the Germans mothballed their coal fired power stations so could restart them, and the UK was closer to Norway for gas supply.
    The French nuclear industry has half their plants out of use so cannot supply Germany. Supposedly faulty parts combined with Union troubles (Hymm?).
    The whole energy crisis was precipitated by the EU (and the UK) deciding to sanction Russia after it retaliated to EU (& NATO) expansion, another idiotic plan with easily foreseen consequences unless you were an EU bureaucrat and/or politician.
    Can I remind you of the order of the crisis – First Germany stopped Russian supplies through the new Nordstream 2 lines, just before they could be started up, by claiming the Paperwork wasn’t right. Then They decided to sanction Russia.

  8. jim2 says:

    On the general topic of Europe screwing itself, there is this twist brought to you by the Fickle Finger of Fate:

    Electricite de France SA said it’s likely to extend cuts to nuclear generation as scorching weather pushes up river temperatures, bringing the energy crisis in the European Union’s second-largest economy into sharp focus.

    In Germany, the Rhine is on the brink of having to close to commercial traffic at a key waypoint because it’s become too shallow for barges to pass. That’s stymieing the flow of coal that’s increasingly needed for power generation since Russia reduced flows of gas on the Nord Stream pipeline.

  9. The True Nolan says:

    Taz “Russia just isn’t a reliable partner for anything.”
    Graeme No.3 “The whole energy crisis was precipitated by the EU (and the UK) deciding to sanction Russia after it retaliated to EU (& NATO) expansion, another idiotic plan with easily foreseen consequences unless you were an EU bureaucrat and/or politician.”

    I have been keeping a bit of a watch on Ukraine since the US invested at least $3B in overthrowing their elected government in 2014. The only reason for the current presence of Russia in Ukraine is because the US and NATO have been step by step by step pushing Russia into it ever since. My only real question is why NOW? Or rather why since February? Kicking off a war between Ukraine and Russia is obviously part of some bigger plan, and Russia has made it clear for years just exactly what the US had to do to get them to invade — which is what the US did. So why now?

    We saw the US abandon over $80B worth of arms in Afghanistan in August 2021. And now we are seeing the US and other NATO nations sending countless billions more in military hardware to disappear into Ukraine, with some unknow amount siphoned off into the black market. And thousands of US military men released for refusing to get jabbed. And all the rest jabbed and potentially (who knows) vaxx injured.

    Is the war in Ukraine just one more part of the effort to deplete the US military forces of difficult to replace hardware and men?

  10. Saighdear says:

    Is it me or is it the UK your Link “This site can’t be reached
    Check if there is a typo in Try:
    Running Windows Network Diagnostics
    Changing DNS over HTTPS settings
    Check your DNS over HTTPS settings ” etc. However I’ve seen for myselg too on Sat TV about O Laugh Scholzie – crikey M8, does he really know if the turbine works: and isn’t he one of all those Deutschens who went Green years ago, I don’t think he can even count chickens yet. 4-sprung out of the nest already!

  11. YMMV says:

    @Saighdear, the RT link works. That said, it is blocked in certain places.

    And then there is the Nord Stream 2 saga.

  12. another ian says:

    Might be more games going on

    In that Wiki link
    “On 30 December 2008 Rolls-Royce Holdings was awarded a contract to supply turbines for the compressor, :

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    Odd you would say that, since Russia has been the only one reliable in this farce. They have continued to provide gas through the whole thing (so far…).

    It is NATO / EU / USA who have screwed them over with sanctions, NATO expansion, violated Minsk Accords, Ukraine stole gas and didn’t pay for it, etc. etc. Yet the gas kept flowing…

    Yes, now they look like they are playing “maintenance games”; but I don’t know that. It is possible that there is some regularly required maintenance on the turbines and that running them beyond that point damages them (or just puts them out of warrantee…). While I suspect the Russians are playing the maintenance card to their own advantage; it could just as easily be that this maintenance MUST be done and they are required to take the turbines out of service at a fixed number of hours (or risk blowing them up?)

    Near as I can tell, it is the EU / USA / NATO who are the ones being unreliable. It was them that put the sanctions on forcing Russia out of the SWIFT system and generally buggering up the established procedures.

  14. E.M.Smith says:


    Oh yeah, the rivers problems… Maybe they can haul coal by truck… using nasty ol’ Diesel…

  15. jim2 says:

    The rivers problem also is affecting farmers in Europe. Double whammy.

  16. beng135 says:

    Seeing the results of only one or two producers in the whole world manufacturing such large industrial machines as turbines, generators, transformers and electrical switchgear. Used to be quite a few.

  17. p.g.sharrow says:

    While the rest of you repeat Putin RT talking points I research facts on the ground.
    Putin’s original training was in Energy / Gas policy for the KGB / Soviet Union. Putin has been angling to get control over the potentially most important Gas field in Eastern Europe For the last 20 years. # major pipelines that supply Europe run over that area. What many people point out as being the last “duellly Elected” Ukraine government that was ousted by the election of 2014. was a Putin plant “Selected” to turn over control of that gas field to Putin’s Oligarchy, which they did. You know Hunter Biden’s friends. The Ukraine people threw out that kleptocracy in 2014 and were working on prosecuting those people when Obama’s man extorted them into stopping that activity. Remember…. Good old Joe bragged about it. and Hunter picked up the the payment for the “Big Guy” $3million from a “Generous Moscow Matron” that wanted to back his “investment company”.. That Gas field is under central Ukraine from the Donbas to about the center of the country. Putin helped Zelensky’s election over Porosinko because Zelensky was supposed to fold and leave, what the GEBs wanted, every thing was set up to give him a cushy “Government in Exile” position but he double crossed them ” I don’t want a ticket, send me ammunition” Zelinsky is a real patriot. Destroying Putin’s Oligarchy and it’s criminal hold over Ukraine is his passion. This meme that Zelensky is a corrupt head of a Nazi assault on the Russian Federation is a part of Putin’s long term operation to justify his grabbing control of Europe’s energy needs. A big part of the GEBs “Game of Thrones”…. watch the pea under the shell. Now Putin’s plan to pacify Ukraine and bring it to heel has failed and the second half has now begun and Putin’s plan will be undone. His backup plan to get the west to force Ukraine to capitulate to save themselves is busted. “The Brothers of the North will Unite and put an end to the use of war” NATO has united to end the art of conquest .Now watch the second half, Putin’s hold over the Russian Federation is slipping as it disintegrates. Our next chore will be to help preserve the Federation as a buffer against China while helping break the back of Putin’s organization. Preserving the Federation is as important as freeing Ukraine.

  18. YMMV says:

    Putin thanks Turkey for reliable delivery of Russian gas to the EU.
    During a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Putin named the TurkStream pipeline as one of the most important arteries for delivering Russian gas to Europe.

    TurkStream consists of two parallel lines running under the Black Sea from Russia and joins Turkey’s gas transportation network and sends Russian gas onward to Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

    From the comments in that link:
    “Russia offered Bulgarians the Black Sea Stream but the Bulgarians said no.”
    “Not quite right. Bulgaria was forced out by the US as was Greece. The US okayed Turkey as it was still Nato , and more important to the US than Greece and Bulgaria.”

  19. cdquarles says:

    Speaking of southern European/Mediterranean gas, didn’t they also nix an Israeli pipeline? Memory is fuzzy.

  20. jim2 says:

    How many times have we heard Russia is about to run out of men or weapons or simply just fold. These predictions obviously haven’t panned out. My feeling is that Ukraine is toast.

  21. cdquarles says:

    Yes, another ian, that one. I note wiki’s bias. Why do they say that the new pipeline will be less “environmentally friendly” than another one? /rhetorical

  22. another ian says:


    The premise was that they couldn’t very well bias the map of the pipeline route!

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