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The Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is set to be completed within days and come on stream, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
The European Union (EU) and the United States have opposed the controversial Nord Stream 2 project from Russia to Germany, concerned about Russia using gas sales and its gas monopoly Gazprom as a political tool. Poland, several other EU countries, and the United States have seen Nord Stream 2 as further undermining Europe’s energy security by giving Gazprom another pipeline to ship its natural gas to European markets. Germany has looked at the project from a business perspective mostly.
“Now we see simply a frontal attack, despite everything, on Nord Stream 2, although everyone understands, and the Americans have already realized that it will be completed in a few days, it will start working,” Russia’s Lavrov said today, as carried by Russian news agency TASS.
The U.S. is looking to pitch its liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Europe, despite the fact that it is more expensive and has generated emissions in the production and liquefaction, Lavrov said on Monday.
In the middle of August, Gazprom that Nord Stream 2 may supply 5.6 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe this year.
The operating company behind the project, Switzerland-based Nord Stream 2 AG, told Reuters on August 19 that construction was 99 percent complete.
The Fortuna pipe-laying vessel from Russia is working on the final part of the construction, Nord Stream 2 AG told Reuters.
Earlier reports from German news outlet Deutsche Welle suggested that the construction works for the pipeline are expected to be completed on August 23.
At the end of July, one of the western investors in the project, Austria’s OMV, said that Nord Stream 2 could begin shipping gas as soon as this year.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.
Nord Stream 2 is a fact on the ground (or shall I say under the water) and will soon carry the first Russian natural gas shipment to Germany.
Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if America’s allies inside the EU such as Poland and the Baltic States would instigate another trick to delay the operation of Nord Stream 2 incited by the United States.
A week ago, a German court ruled that Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany would have to obey EU regulations that separate owners of the pipelines from suppliers of gas. But Russia brilliantly checkmated that move when Gazprom which is the sole exporter of natural gas in Russia agreed to act as the export agent for the gas Rosneft plans to ship to Europe via Nord Stream.
The fact that back in 2017 Rosneft and its 20% shareholder BP agreed to cooperate in the gas business, including delivering gas to Europe will enable Gazprom to comply with EU regulations.
The overwhelming majority of Europeans have always realized that the United States’ opposition to Nord Stream has far less to do with the EU’s energy security and overwhelmingly more to do with selling its LNG to the EU. The truth of the matter is that Russian piped gas supplies to the EU will always be cheaper than American LNG.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London