Germany shut down the Nord Stream 1 Pipeline today for a pre-scheduled 10-day maintenance period. Whether or not Russian natural gas will resume westward flows to Germany after repairs are made is anybody’s guess.
The 55 bcm/yr pipeline is a key component of the energy détente forged between Germany–the economic and manufacturing heart of Europe–and post-Cold War Russia. It has also inculcated a German dependency on Russian gas that has shaped German economic and security policy (and, by extension, Europe’s) since the project first entered the planning phase over 20 years ago.
For more information on the nature of Russian and German energy codependence, and the future of both, I would suggest the agriculture and manufacturing chapters of my newest book The End of the World is Just the Beginning as well as the Russia and Germany chapters of the last one, Disunited Nations.