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    Gazprom Seeks to Revise Permit for Building NS2


The company may have to anchor vessels in Danish waters to finish the pipeline.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Gazprom Seeks to Revise Permit for Building NS2

The Nord Stream 2 (NS2) operating company has requested that its permit to build the pipeline through Danish waters is revised to allow for the use of anchored vessels, it told NGW.

NS2, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russia's Gazprom, is seeking the amendment from the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) as a "precautionary measure." The amendment "relates to the potential use of pipelay vessels that use anchors for positioning," it said.

Gazprom had hoped to complete NS2 before the end of last year but this plan was thwarted by Denmark's delay in issuing the necessary permits. The US then imposed sanctions on the project in December, forcing Swiss contractor Allseas to halt work on the project with only 6% of its offshore section left to complete.

As NGW has reported, Russia wants to use its own pipelaying vessels to finish the job. The Gazprom-owned Akademik Cherskiy is understood to be equipped with a dynamic positioning system required to work at the NS2 construction site under Danish regulation, but its crane is not large enough to lift NS2's pipes. Another Russian vessel, Fortuna, has a large enough crane but no DPS.

It has therefore been suggested Gazprom could couple the vessels, but if this makes the DPS unusable it will have to anchor them. This technique was used to build the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in Danish waters almost a decade ago, as well as NS2 off Germany, the project operator told NGW.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that NS2 should start flowing gas in early 2021, which is over a year later than was hoped for a year ago.