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The controversial Russia-led gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 is likely to start delivering first gas to Germany by the end of 2021, Russian energy experts tell news agency TASS, while the U.S. is targeting the project with additional sanctions to stop its completion.
Last week, work off the coast of Germany, the endpoint of the pipeline, resumed, with the pipe-laying vessel Fortuna laying a 2.6-kilometer (1.6-mile) section of the pipe.
U.S. sanctions have delayed offshore construction works as the United States looks to thwart the completion of the pipeline by broadening the scope of the sanctions against service providers and those funding vessels involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2, and including the project as a target of more sanctions in the U.S. defense bill.
How fast the resumed pipe-laying will proceed “will depend on the technical capability of the vessels, which is still difficult to assess,” Dmitry Marinchenko, Senior Director at Fitch Ratings, Oil & Gas, told TASS.
“In theory, completion of construction by the end of the first quarter looks like a realistic goal,” Marinchenko said.
Construction of the remaining section of the pipeline may take up to six months, Director General of the National Energy Institute, Sergey Pravosudov, told TASS.
Both experts believe it is realistic for Russian gas to start flowing through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline sometime around the fourth quarter of 2021.
While Russian energy analysts say that Nord Stream will be put into operation, the U.S. continues to try to kill the project by slapping sanctions on anyone or any company helping the pipeline in any way.
The United States, several European countries, including the Baltic states and Poland, as well as the European Union (EU), have expressed concern about Russia using gas sales and its gas monopoly Gazprom as a political tool.
Germany, for its part, is looking at the economic benefits of the Nord Stream 2 project.
In July, the United States warned the companies that were helping to complete Nord Stream 2 that they should ‘get out now’ or face the consequences, as the Trump Administration stepped up efforts to stop the construction of the controversial Russia-led pipeline in Europe.
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.