Europe Postponed Nord Stream 2 Launch, Again

The launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is being postponed due to German bureaucracy, as the Federal Network Agency of Germany has suspended the certification of the project. 

Picture: RIA FAN

As it turns out, gas quotes in Europe soared by almost 17 per cent in a day and for the first time since mid-October broke through the $1,100 mark per thousand cubic metres. This happened immediately after the German energy regulator demanded that the legal structure of the independent operator Nord Stream 2 AG be brought into line with local laws. The requirement is to create a subsidiary German company for the part of the pipeline that runs through the territory of the country.

“The market expected the launch in January 2022, which would fill European underground gas storage facilities by 26 per cent (17.2 billion cubic metres). With the postponement of the EU, almost four billion will be missed. This will lead to power failures,” the Associate Professor of Economics, Maxim Chernyaev, warns.

As reminded, the Nord Stream 2 was completed on September 10 of this year. The German regulator has started checking the pipeline compliance with technical standards, which should have taken four months. Now analysts believe that the gas will not be released until spring. Most likely, this will provoke a further rise in price.

“Spot prices on the European gas market will stay above a thousand dollars for most of the winter. It can sometimes break through one and a half,” a leading economist at the TeleTrade analytical centre, Pyotr Pushkarev, said.

It is noted that Gazprom already has a sufficient queue of buyers. For example, China is ready to increase pumping, demand from Turkey is increasing, and it will also be profitable to supply the surplus to Asia. In addition, they remind that fuel goes to Europe at prices prescribed in medium-term contracts, which are not directly affected by a sharp rise in price.

As stated, experts consider it no coincidence that the hitch with certification arose against the background of the migration crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border, just a few days after the statement of the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, about the possible suspension of supplies through the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline.

In turn, the Bundestag deputy, Klaus Ernst, who headed the Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy in the German parliament of the last convocation, believes that the EU’s demands for Russia to increase gas supplies are controversial, TASS reports.

“I think the position is controversial when they now demand an increase in supplies from Russia. Germany and Europe do not miss the opportunity to throw a stone at Russia and at the same time expect that Russia will meet halfway on this issue in order to solve the problems as soon as possible,” he said.

The deputy stressed that the increase in prices on the gas market is not related to the fact that, according to European consumers, Russia does not comply with the concluded contracts. Among the reasons for the price increase, he named the delayed demand for gas after the pandemic, the lack of gas supplies from the Netherlands and their reduction from Norway.

Ernst believes that in order to neutralize the threats of the President of Belarus to cut off Europe from gas supplies, it is necessary to launch Nord Stream 2.

“I perceive everything that Lukashenko says as realistic, including for this reason we need Nord Stream 2. In this case, Lukashenko will have very few opportunities for blackmail using the Yamal pipeline,” Ernst noted.

Ru-Main, 18.11.2021
Source: RIA Novosti 

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