Nordstream 2 Nearing Completion

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Nordstream 2 Nearing Completion

Thu, 11/21/2019 - 13:18
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The Pioneering Spirit in swedish waters (copyright by Nord Stream 2/Axel Schmidt)
The Pioneering Spirit in swedish waters (copyright by Nord Stream 2/Axel Schmidt)

Nordstream 2 appears to have overcome all obstacles to completion now that Denmark, the last European holdout, has agreed to cooperate.  The Danish Energy Agency issued a permit for the construction of the portion of Nord Stream 2 that passes through the Danish exclusive economic zone and work is expected to be completed during 2020.

Still not all parties to the multibillion dollar, 1200km subsea pipeline project are satisfied.  Germany, for one, has made the operation of Nordstream 2 conditional on Russia's Gazprom agreeing to the continued transfer of Russian gas through the Ukraine. Given the strained relationship between Russia and the Ukraine one wonders how much more time will pass before this last potential glitch is ironed out.  

And, of course, the Ukraine is using all of its limited diplomatic and political leverage to persuade its European allies to prevent Nordstream 2 from, well, coming on stream.  The Ukrainians believe that once gas begins to flow on Nordstream Russia will no longer be interested in shipping its gas through the existing Bratsva transboundary pipeline, despite assurances from Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian Prime Minister:  "I underline this particularly, we don't reject transit through existing pipelines ... we are ready to maintain gas transit through Ukrainian pipelines after 2019."

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