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Oil Should Stay In Triple Digits: Analyst

Biden Threatens End Of Nord Stream 2 If Ukraine Situation Escalates

President Joe Biden issued a threat for the Nord Stream natural gas project if Russia were to invade Ukraine, although he did not elaborate on how such a move would be made.

“If Russia invades -- that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine, again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2,” the U.S. President said at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, as quoted by CNBC. “We will bring an end to it.”

In response to a question from a Reuters journalist on how exactly this would be done, Biden declined to elaborate, saying only “We will, I promise you, we’ll be able to do it.”

Yet the effect of the declaration may well have been a little spoiled by the statement of the German Chancellor, who did not appear nearly as enthusiastic about punitive action against Nord Stream 2 as his U.S. counterpart.

“We have intensively prepared everything to be ready with the necessary sanctions if there is a military aggression against Ukraine,” Scholz said. “It is part of the process that we do not spell out everything in public, because Russia should understand that there might be even more to come.”

In response to Reuters’ Andrea Shalal’s question on whether he would “commit to pulling the plug on Nord Stream 2”, Sholtz declined to do so.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is seen as a key supply channel for Germany, whose gas needs are about to rise further after it closes all of its nuclear power plants and moves ahead with the retirement of its coal power plants.

This is the reason Germany is a lot more reluctant than the United States to make threats against the project or, indeed, the Russian state amid the current geopolitical tensions.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • George Doolittle on February 09 2022 said:
    President Biden said "will" not "will look into that."

    Hardly difficult to destroy a pipeline in the Baltic and I think the German Chancellor has acceded to this reality. Point being "get serious about getting the Netherlands back up and running" as this is in no way of USA matter.
  • Mamdouh Salameh on February 08 2022 said:
    This is a bold statement by US President Biden about sealing the fate of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine but it is also full of hot air. Other than more sanctions what else could he do? He can’t stop its eventual certification and operation exactly as his predecessors failed in the 1960s to stop Soviet era oil and gas pipelines to Europe.

    Even without the Ukraine crisis, President Biden and his advisors were looking for an excuse to continue their opposition to Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under the false pretext that it will tighten Russia’s grip on Europe’s energy security. But this is fooling nobody. The overwhelming majority of Europeans and the whole world know that the motivation is to sell US LNG at the expense of Russia’s cheaper piped gas supplies.

    Nord Stream 2 is a reality and sooner or later will be getting certification from the German and EU energy regulators whether the United States likes it or not. It is first and foremost a viable economic project. If it was certified in last September, it would have helped alleviate Europe’s ongoing energy crisis and also fill its gas storage which has currently 14.9 billion cubic metres (bcm) or 26% of capacity.

    Germany will never join the United States in ending Nord Stream 2 which cost an estimated $11 bn to build even in the event of an escalation of the Ukraine crisis into an armed conflict. If it does, it will sink more than 150 major German companies which were involved in its construction. Moreover, it will be a major blow to its economy Germany depends on Russia for 60% of its natural gas and oil needs.

    Were the United States to try to end Nord Stream 2 and exert pressure on Germany and Europe to follow suit, Germany will never oblige and will lead fierce opposition inside the EU against such action. This will seriously harm transatlantic unity and cause a permanent damage to relations between the United States and Germany.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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