Nord Stream 2 to be completed in a few days: press
Gazprom's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be completed in the next few days, Interfax news agency reported, citing Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov September 6.
"It will be completed in a few days, it will start working," he said. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller had said September 2 that its first deliveries can start in time for the current heating season, Reuters reported, suggesting a slower start.
Lavrov was speaking the same day that engineers on the laybarge Fortuna welded the last pipe of the two strings of the Nord Stream 2 line. The next step will see the pipeline from the German shore being connnected to the section coming from the Danish waters in a so-called above water tie-in.
Nord Stream 2 AG said in a September 6 release that pre-commissioning activities will be carried out with the goal of putting the pipeline into operation before the end of this year.
The $11bn pipeline has been held up by a number of legal and regulatory challenges: the Danish government decided not to allow it to follow the same route as the already-operational 55bn m³/yr Nord Stream 1 line; and during the delay while a new route was found, the European energy package was amended to apply to overseas pipelines not yet built.
Then the US applied sanctions, forcing the certification company DNV to pull out of the project last year. Further legal rulings affecting onshore pipelines in mainland Europe will also affect how much gas the line can flow.
A data error in late August led to rumours that the pipeline had already started flowing, which temporarily saw prices dip. No gas has yet entered the Eugal pipeline, an onshore extension of the Nord Stream 2 route, the operator has told NGW.