Nord Stream 2 Construction to Resume Dec 5
Construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany will resume on December 5, according to a notice published by the maritime authority of the German city of Stralsund.
In its statement, Stralsund's waterways and shipping authority said the work would take place in the Adlergrund area near the island of Ruegen between December 5 and 31. Akademik Cherskiy, a Russian-owned vessel which Gazprom is widely expected to use to complete Nord Stream 2, is currently stationed off the coast of Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea. Gazprom's Nord Stream 2 subsidiary told NGW that "the vessel to be used will be specified at a later date."
Following delays caused by Danish permitting issues, Russia had been near to completing Nord Stream 2 in December last year, when the US imposed sanctions on the project, forcing Swiss pipelayer Allseas to halt work. Only 6% of the pipeline's offshore section is left to complete, with the unfinished portion mostly located in Danish waters but also off Germany.
Nord Stream 2 faces obstacles on several fronts. Washington expanded its sanctions regime in October to target any companies providing assistance to the vessels engaged in laying pipes, and this led Norwegian certification company DNV GL, hired to verify the safety and technical integrity of the pipeline, to drop out of the project in late November.
Meanwhile, a court ruling last year means EU energy rules will apply to the pipeline, potentially limiting its flow and causing other operational difficulties. Polish regulator UOKiK has also fined Gazprom $7.6bn for creating a de-facto joint venture with its European partners to finance the project without its permission.
At full capacity Nord Stream 2 will flow 55bn m3/year of Siberian gas to Germany and other European markets, enabling Russia to limit flows via Ukraine after their transit contract expires at the end of 2024.
(banner image courtesy of Gazprom)