European Commission Confirms Intention to Mothball South Stream Project
European Commissioner for Energy Günther H. Oettinger reiterated his conviction that the South Stream project should be mothballed and that Europe should rather intensify cooperation with the United States, Canada and Japan, while also promoting a more integrated energy market.
“New infrastructure investments promoted by dominant suppliers must adhere to all internal market and competition rules. This is why we said that the South stream project should be suspended until full compliance with EU legislation is ensured and re-evaluated in light of the EU's energy security priorities,” Oettinger said in Brussels on Wednesday.
Oettinger said that Europe has to include Ukraine, Moldova and the Western Balks in its energy security strategy, supporting reverse flows. At the same time, Europe is looking at Norway to increase energy security.
“In the coming years, LNG will be an important flexibility element and we need to better use our existing and future regasification capacities. We will also need a reinforced partnership with Norway, the acceleration of the Southern Gas Corridor and the promotion of a new gas hub in Southern Europe.”
“Brussels’ key problem is that only five years ago each member state was left to its own devices regarding energy security. A common economic policy is also lacking. We are not United States of Europe, and so talking about a ‘bloodstream’, or joint purchases of gas, is nothing but wishful thinking. If we want to have a European industry, be it steel, car making or chemicals – we need our own resources,” Andrzej Sikora, President of the Institute of Energy Studies, said on Thursday during the last day of the 4th European Financial Congress.