Russian gas on Nord Stream 1 restart to be 30% of capacity -German regulator

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Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 1' gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany, March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

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BERLIN, July 20 (Reuters) - The head of Germany's energy regulator on Wednesday said the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would resume at around 30% capacity when its maintenance period ends on Thursday.

Federal Network Agency chief Klaus Mueller said Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM) had renominated the gas flows to around 530 gigawatts hour per day.

"That would be about 30% utilization. It's better than nothing but of course not what is contractually agreed," Mueller said in an interview with ZDF broadcaster.

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Mueller said the flows could be changed upwards or cut further. "If we would get the 30%, then this would help in saving but ... we must first wait for what will be actually delivered," he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, data from network operator Gascade showed that the gas entry point of Lubmin, where Nord Stream 1 makes landfall in Germany, registered a pickup in nominations from July 21, 0600 CET (0400 GMT), when maintenance work on the Gazprom-owned pipeline ends.

At the Lubmin II point, nominations show a rise to 787,088 kilowatts hours per hour (kWh/h) for 0600-0700 CET and 0700-0800 CET. The nominations will rise further to 12.163 million kWh/h afterwards.

The nominations indicate flows are expected to resume through the pipeline tomorrow morning, which has been offline since July 11 due to planned maintenance.

"Day-ahead nominations for delivery 21 July have been made along both NEL and OPAL natgas pipelines, which are fed by NordStream1. A key indicator – which is not full proof – that #Gazprom will resume flows on the key pipe on Thursday morning," ICIS analyst Tom Marzec-Manser said on Twitter.

There had been concerns Russia would extend the maintenance, with Italy and Germany warning it could be used as a pretext by Moscow to keep sending less gas to Europe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said late on Wednesday the capacity of the pipeline, which was cut to 40% prior to the maintenance, could be further reduced due to slow progress in equipment servicing. read more

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Reporting by Matthias Williams; Writing by Riham Alkousaa and Susanna Twidale; editing by Elaine Hardcastle, David Gregorio and Lisa Shumaker

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