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    Russia fills first Nord Stream 2 string


The pipeline is ready for commercial flow, its operator has said. [image credit: Gazprom]

by: NGW

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Russia fills first Nord Stream 2 string

Russia has filled the first string of the Nord Stream 2 with natural gas, readying the pipeline for commercial flow, its operator announced on October 18.

The string has been filled with 177mn m3 of gas, the Nord Stream 2 operating company said, bringing the pipeline's pressure to 103 bars. "This pressure is sufficient to start gas transportation in future," the operator said.

"Pre-commissioning steps for the second string are ongoing," Nord Stream 2 said. "Nord Stream 2 will inform about further technical steps in due time."

Russia is hopeful that Nord Stream 2 can start the commercial flow of gas this year, although German regulators first need to certify the Nord Stream 2 company as an independent operator. Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak on October 15 denied that Russia was withholding gas supply from the European market to accelerate the certification process.

Germany's economy ministry has consulted with neighbouring states about issues of gas supply security as part of the Nord Stream 2 certification process, Reuters reported on October 15. The ministry will recommend whether regulators should certify the process after that assessment is completed, the news service quoted outgoing minister Peter Altmaier as saying.

"By the end of next week or the beginning of the week thereafter, we will look at the replies and we will inform you what kind of recommendation will be dispatched to the regulator," the minister said.

Poland's state-owned gas company PGNiG was granted the right to participate in the Nord Stream 2 certification process in September. Warsaw is among the staunchest opponents of the pipeline.