TOPIC PAGE: Nord Stream 2

Author: Diane Elijah

2021/09/13

LONDON (ICIS)--The Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline will double Russia’s direct export capacity to Germany as a first entry point to the EU to 110 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year.

Its supporters, including Germany and other west-European member states, see it as a commercially sensible project, but its opponents, led by Poland and the US, consider it as a threat to the EU’s security and diversity of supply.

In December 2019, US sanctions forced key pipelaying vessels to stop working on the project. In mid-January, President Putin said Russia could finish building the pipeline on its own but its completion would be delayed to up to the end of 2020 or in the first quarter of 2021.

The Russian pipeline was initially scheduled for completion by the end of 2019. Delays beyond 2020 could restrain Russia’s pipeline export capacity to the EU.

This topic page brings together updates from ICIS on the pipeline's progress and the impact it is having on energy markets.

LATEST UPDATES

6 October 2021

Nord Stream 2 may be allowed to challenge EU rules in court

Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline operator can challenge the European Gas Directive at the EU General Court, advocate general of the EU Court of Justice Michal Bobek said on Wednesday.

The EU benchmark TTF front month contract reacted to the news falling by €7/MWh to €123/MWh in the early morning, before rising again just a few minutes later. By 11:00 London time, the contract had risen to over €141/MWh, ICIS assessments showed.

The EU Gas Directive was changed in February 2019 to extend EU rules on unbundling, third-party access and tariff transparency to pipelines outside the EU. Previously these rules only applied to pipelines located inside the EU, they now apply to all pipelines connecting the EU to third countries like Russia. The changes to the directive allowed pipelines to be exempted from unbundling, third-party access and tariff transparency rules provided they met specific conditions at the time the new directive entered into force in February 2020. Nord Stream 2 was the only third-country pipeline that did not meet those conditions.

The promoters of the Russian project said the new directive is discriminatory against their project and in July 2019 they launched a legal proceeding to annul the new directive, which the EU General Court dismissed. The promoters appealed this decision at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which has the authority to annul the General Court’s decision. On 6 October, the ECJ’s advocate general said Nord Stream 2 AG is entitled to challenge the directive and the ECJ should annul the General Court’s decision. The advocate general’s opinion is not binding and the ECJ judges will give their decision at a later date.

The General Court had dismissed Nord Stream 2 AG’s action on the basis that the directive cannot be of direct concern to Nord Stream 2 AG since it is a directive and needs to be transposed into a national law.

But the ECJ advocate general said that the directive is of direct concern to Nord Stream 2 AG because “in reality, the relevant authorities [here, the German authorities] have no genuine discretion as to the manner in which the main EU act [here the EU Gas Directive] must be implemented.”

According to Michael Grossmann, managing partner at Paris-based energy consultancy Tumbleweed Partners, the advocate general discusses whether the changes made to the directive in 2019 are an implementation guideline or an extension of the directive’s scope. In the latter case it cannot be applicable because a law cannot have a retroactive effect on pre-existing activity, Grossmann added.

The advocate general also said that in order to comply with the directive’s unbundling rule, Nord Stream 2 AG will have to either sell the entire Nord Stream 2 pipeline or sell the part of the pipeline falling under German jurisdiction, or transfer the ownership of the pipeline to a separate subsidiary. Unbundling is the separation of the owner of the pipeline and the owner of the gas that flows in it. Russian gas producer Gazprom fully owns Nord Stream 2 and is the only company legally allowed to use Russia’s export pipelines.

The advocate general found that the General Court was wrong to withdraw from the Nord Stream 2 case two documents Nord Stream 2 AG had submitted as evidence.

He also found that the changes in the new EU Gas Directive:

are of direct and individual concern to Nord Stream 2 AG
affect only the Nord Stream 2 pipeline
place Nord Stream 2 in a unique position because unlike all other third-country pipelines, it cannot benefit from any derogation or exemption from the directive.

 

13 September 2021

Nord Stream 2 gas flows may be delayed into 2022

The start of flows via Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline is facing further delays as the certification process and further EU approval may take up to eight months.

The Russia-Germany offshore pipeline needs to be certified compliant with EU rules such as unbundling. German regulator BNetzA has until 8 January 2022 to make a draft decision and submit it to the European Commission.

The commission has two months to examine BNetzA’s draft decision, but this can be extended by another two months. The commission has not been supportive of Nord Stream 2 and so is likely to examine the decision with particular caution and scrutiny.

Operating a gas pipeline without certification by BNetzA may be sanctioned by a non-compliance procedure, BNetzA told ICIS.

10 September 2021

Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline fully built

The construction of the second and last line of the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline was completed on 10 September, the project backers announced.

Russia’s state-owned oil producer Rosneft has asked to be allowed to export gas via Nord Stream 2, Russian deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak confirmed earlier in September. Novak also said that Russian ministries were looking into Rosneft’s request, and that once they adopt a position on it, the question will be discussed in the government.

19 August 2021

Russia’s Nord Stream 2 may carry 5.6bcm gas in 2021 - Gazprom

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline may carry 5.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) this year, Russian producer Gazprom said on Thursday in a statement that led the Dutch and British front-month products to lose value.

The volume Gazprom plans to flow via the pipeline represent around 10% of its capacity. The project has been delayed since late 2019 due to US sanctions but it is now over 99% complete, with one line fully built and the second line expected to be finished by the end of the month.

Nord Stream 2’s design capacity is enough to carry around 12% of all the gas consumed in the EU and the UK in 2020.

Gazprom did not provide an expected start-up date for the pipeline.

The TTF and NBP September ’21 were down more than 9% by 11:00 London time as the announcement - the first official estimate from the Russian producer - hit the wider market.

12 July 2021

Gas injection demand could limit Nord Stream 2 market impact

European price risk could soften initially if firm information on Nord Stream 2's commissioning is announced, however injection demand is likely to limit downside, according to market sources.

Russian supply capacity to Germany as a first entry point to the EU is set to double to 110 billion cubic metres per year when the pipeline comes online.

The head of Nord Stream 2, Matthias Warnig, said the goal is for the pipeline to be in operation this year, according to an interview published in German newspaper Handelsblatt on 11 July.

Nord Stream 2 confirmed the comments to ICIS on Monday, in which Warnig said the pipeline was 98% complete with construction work set to finish by the end of August.

2 July 2021

US House subcommittee looks to repeal Nord Stream 2 sanctions waiver

On 1 July the US House of Representatives subcommittee on state, foreign operations and related programmes called for a repeal on the sanctions waiver on the promoters of the Russia-Germany Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.

22 June 2021

Nord Stream 2 gas pipe: first flows and alternative supply routes in case of delays

Pre-commissioning activities might delay the commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which might prompt Russia’s state-controlled company Gazprom to book additional capacity via Ukraine, experts told ICIS.

The first of the two lines forming the Nord Stream 2 link was finished earlier in June and pre-commissioning activities are underway. ICIS outlines how the next steps may delay commercial flows, and which are the potential alternative delivery routes for Russian gas this winter.

20 May 2021

US waives sanctions on Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline promoters

The Biden administration waived sanctions on the promoters of the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline on Wednesday.

There is now little, if anything, undermining the construction phase of the project. Earlier this week, the head of the Russian state duma (lower house of parliament) energy committee Pavel Zavalny said construction can be completed in one-to-two months. Several factors indicate the promoters are more likely to aim to finish pipelay this summer.

18 May 2021

Nord Stream 2 pipelay may be finished in 1-2 months

Pipelay for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline can be completed in one to two months, head of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) energy committee Pavel Zavalny was quoted in Russian media as saying on Monday.

The project is composed of two parallel lines directly connecting Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea and has a total transportation capacity of 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year. Both lines have the same capacity (27.5bcm/year). Around 5% of the project is left to build in Danish and German waters.

Construction of the pipeline is underway with two Russian pipelaying vessels, Fortuna and Akademik Chersky in Danish waters. On Tuesday, the project promoters said there were still around 93km in Denmark and 28km in Germany left to lay.

There are still 13.9km to finish on the first line and 16.5 km on the second line, the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency told ICIS on Monday.
The Fortuna pipelayer will lay pipes in German waters between 22 May and 30 June, the German Water and Shipping Authority announced in a notice to mariners on Monday.

The German construction permit allows pipelay in German waters between the end of May and the end of September, but the German maritime agency recently allowed a 2 km section to be built before the end of May.

German parliamentary elections in September could affect the pipeline project as a change of leadership could mean the current German support for the project would also change.

Russia may also want to push for the project completion before then so as to be able to use some of its capacity to send gas for the winter season.
This year, cool weather in April and May left EU stocks much lower than in 2020 and slowed down the pace at which stocks are refilled.

Stocks increased by only 940 million cubic metres (mcm) to 24.6bcm between 1 April and 11 May, data from storage system operators in 18 member states showed. As a comparison, stocks had increased by 10bcm to 38.8bcm during the same period on average during 2016-2020.

This means it will likely take longer to refill stocks, which are usually refilled between April and September.
Russian state-owned gas producer Gazprom fully owns the Nord Stream 2 project. Europe is Russia’s main export market and Gazprom supplies about one third of its annual demand. Diane Elijah

27 April 2021

Second Russian pipelayer starts building Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

A second Russian pipelayer started laying Nord Stream 2 pipes on Tuesday, the project promoters said. The direct pipeline between Russia and Germany is 95% built with 121km left to lay in Danish and German waters.

The project was initially expected to be finished in late 2019, but US sanctions forced the Swiss and Italian pipelayers initially contracted to withdraw from the project.

15 April 2021

GIF INSIDE STORY: Russian gas supply alternatives to Nord Stream 2

The potential completion or cancellation of Russian Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline project can reshape Europe’s natural gas imports and transit.

ICIS Analytics models three scenarios for Russian gas supply to Europe, showing how flow profiles could change based on different Nord Stream 2 outcomes.

GIF Comment: Nord Stream 2 ties together US and Germany's economic and political agendas

The new US administration’s desire to mend fences with historical EU allies has led some to believe Washington and Berlin can reach a compromise on the world’s most controversial pipeline.

Economically and politically, both have a lot at stake. The rhetoric of the US State Department condemning Nord Stream 2 indicate there may be no change in position, but there could be a shift in its strategy.

5 March 2021

Nord Stream 2 works extended until end of September

Construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline in Danish waters has been extended until the end of September, a notice from the Danish Maritime Authority indicated on 4 March.

A second Russian pipe-laying vessel has started to work on the project, which may accelerate the pace of construction.

Work on the link restarted in the Danish exclusive economic zone in late January using a Russian pipe-layer called the Fortuna, despite the vessel falling under US sanctions .

The new US administration held off on applying new sanctions against the project through a report in February.

23 February 2021

US holds off on new sanctions for Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline

The US state department has not sanctioned new entities involved in Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline as part of a congressionally-mandated report submitted on 19 February.

The US list of blocked entities and people was updated on 22 February to include the Russian Fortuna vessel through two sets of sanctions against Nord Stream 2.

This vessel was included in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on 19 January and is now also included in the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA).

15 February 2021

On the agenda: US report on Nord Stream 2 activities expected Tuesday

A US State Department report identifying the companies actively involved in the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline is expected on Tuesday. This is part of the US sanctions legislation against the project and may potentially lead to the addition of more companies to the sanctions list.

On 12 February, two US senators called on President Joe Biden to fully implement current sanctions against this project. Implementing these sanctions includes submitting the report to the US Congress on 16 February.

The existing sanction packages against the project “have had a demonstrative effect on slowing completion of the project. These sanctions work,” senators Jim Risch, member of the senate’s foreign relations committee, and Jeanne Shaheen, chair of the subcommittee on Europe and regional security cooperation, said in their letter to Biden on 12 February.

9 February 2021

Pipelay to continue into the second quarter of the year

Pipelay of Nord Stream 2 will take place until the end of April, in the Danish exclusive economic zone and up to the border with German waters, the Danish Maritime Authority said on Monday in a notice to mariners. In January 2020, Russian president Vladimir Putin said he hoped the project would be finished by the end of 2020 or in the first quarter of 2021. But the Danish notice confirms that the project will not be completed in the first quarter. The project was initially planned to be built by the end of 2019 but US sanctions delayed it. So far, Russia’s Fortuna is the only pipelayer left in the project. It arrived on the Danish construction site in late January, picking up pipelay where it had been left on hold since December 2019.

3 February 2021

German region establishes group to push Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

In the opening month of the year the German regional parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern adopted a motion to establish a foundation that aims, among other things, to help complete the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.

The latest US sanctions package adopted on 1 January does not apply to EU entities that do not operate as a business enterprise.

The foundation is a state entity, although its Nord Stream 2-dedicated branch is a commercial business, meaning it might fall under US sanctions.

22 January 2020

European Parliament calls EU to stop Russian Nord Stream 2 gas project

The European Parliament called on the EU to stop the Nord Stream 2 project immediately in a resolution reacting to Russian opponent Alexei Navalny’s recent arrest. The text was adopted on 21 January with a large majority of 581, 50 against and 44 abstentions.

The EU must stop the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project immediately, the text states.

The European Parliament resolution is not binding, and the matter is now in the hands of the European Council which needs to decide whether to take action on it or not. ICIS contacted the Council who could not say yet whether and when they will discuss the matter.

20 January 2021

New US sanctions call into question Nord Stream 2 completion date

LONDON (ICIS)--The US government sanctioned Fortuna, the last pipelaying vessel left in the Nord Stream 2 project, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday.
This adds uncertainty regarding the completion date of the project, already delayed by over a year.

Nord Stream 2 is a pipeline between Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea. Once finished, the project will have the capacity to transport 27.5% of Russia’s yearly piped gas supplies to Europe, based on volumes sent in 2018 and 2019. Nord Stream 2’s capacity is sufficient to satisfy almost 11% of the EU’s annual gas needs based on 2019 demand, data collated by ICIS shows.
US sanctions forced Nord Stream 2’s main pipelayers to withdraw from the project in December 2019. Russian pipelayer Fortuna resumed work in German waters in December 2020 and was planned to resume work in Danish waters from 15 January 2021 but had not yet done so as of Wednesday. There remain around 160km to lay in Germany and Denmark.
The EU does not recognise the extra-territorial application of sanctions adopted by third countries […] and opposes unilateral sanctions affecting EU companies conducting legitimate and lawful business activities, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borell said on Monday referring to US sanctions on Nord Stream 2.

The commission’s objective has always been to ensure that, if built, Nord Stream 2 operates in respect of EU law, he added. Germany has notified transposition of the new EU Gas Directive, which is relevant for Nord Stream 2, he also said. This indicates the commission is unlikely to sanction the project so long as it complies with EU rules.
It is up to the European governments and the European Commission to protect companies operating in Europe from illegal extraterritorial sanctions, the pipeline’s promoters told ICIS on Wednesday.

EU PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) called for additional EU sanctions against Russia over the recent imprisonment of Russian citizen Alexei Navalny, in a debate with Borrell on Tuesday.
Several MEPs called on the EU, and some national and regional governments in particular, to finally move ahead with cancelling the remaining work on Nord Stream 2, as a means to impose proper economic sanctions against Russia, a Parliament press release stated.
A resolution on Navalny’s arrest will be put to the EU Parliament’s vote on Thursday and will likely contain references to Nord Stream 2, a Parliament press officer told ICIS. However, it will not be legally binding, and it will be up to the EU Council and the commission to assess the resolution and decide on any action.

GERMAN REACTION
Chairman of the German Eastern Business Association (Ost-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft) Oliver Hermes said on Tuesday that the sanctions are putting a strain on the new start in transatlantic relations.
“But we continue to see a good possibility that the German government will find a solution with the new Biden administration that will allow the pipeline’s timely completion and operation,” Hermes said. “Investment security is an essential achievement of the European internal market, and this should not be called into question,” he added.
The Association supports projects and claims of German companies and is sponsored by the Federation of German Industries, the Association of German Banks, and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry among others. Nord Stream 2 investors Uniper, Wintershall and Gazprom via its subsidiary Gazprom Germania are members of the Association.
“We stand by Nord Stream 2 and are not affected by the sanctions,” Uniper told ICIS on Wednesday. “We have particular hope that there is a clearly increased willingness in the US to hear the arguments of the Europeans. […] We are still convinced that the pipeline will be completed,” they added.

22 December 2020

Construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipe to restart in Denmark from mid-January

From 15 January 2021, Nord Stream 2’s two gas pipelines will be laid south of Denmark’s Bornholm island, the Danish maritime authority announced in a notice to mariners on Monday.

Pipe-laying the underwater pipelines restarted in Germany earlier in Decmeber and is scheduled to take place until around 31 December 2020, German Waterways and Shipping Authority Stralsund stated in a notice to mariners on 11 December. Once finished, the 55 billion cubic meter (bcm)/year project will have the capacity to transport 27.5% of Russia’s yearly piped gas supplies to Europe, based on volumes sent in 2018 and 2019. Russian producer Gazprom said in its investors day presentation in February that it plans to keep its supplies to Europe at about 200bcm/year until 2030. Nord Stream 2’s capacity is sufficient to satisfy almost 11% of the EU’s annual gas needs based on 2019 demand, according to data collated by ICIS.

The Nord Stream 2 project is composed of two parallel pipelines running between Russia and Germany. Its construction in the Danish Exclusive Economic Zone had stopped in late December 2010 due to US sanctions. These sanctions forced the Swiss-owned pipelaying vessels initially contracted for the offshore link to withdraw from the project.

Construction will resume with a smaller Russian pipelayer, Fortuna. This vessel averages 1.5km/day , according to Russian newspaper Kommersant. The vessel’s owner MRTS did not respond to ICIS to confirm this. If the average pipelay speed is correct and weather conditions optimal, Fortuna could potentially finish the last 160km stretch in Denmark in 107 days or around 3.5 months.

NEW US SANCTIONS

Earlier this month, the US Congress approved new sanctions against the project but Washington plans to consult European governments before imposing them. A European input may soften or delay their implementation.

The legislation will enter into force upon the US president signing it, which is required by the end of the year. These new sanctions target those who provide insurance, certification, or port services to pipelayers contracted for the offshore pipeline.

In mid-August, an EU delegation in Washington officially opposed the US threat of additional sanctions against the project. EU member states could join on the outreach on a voluntary basis and 24 out of the 27 member states were reported to have joined it. This indicates that, when consulted, the EU is likely to oppose the implementation of the new sanctions.

15 December 2020

Nord Stream 2 restarts pipelay; US to consult EU on sanctions

The US Congress has approved new sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project but Washington plans to consult European governments before imposing such sanctions.

EU’s input may soften or delay their implementation.

The legislation, passed both by the Senate and the House last week, is now with the US president, whose signature is required by the end of the year. The pipeline construction has been on hold since December 2019 due to US sanctions but resumed last Friday.

The new sanctions target those who provide insurance, certification, or port services to pipelayers contracted for the offshore pipeline.

In mid-August, an EU delegation in Washington officially opposed the US threat of additional sanctions against the pipeline. EU member states could join on the outreach on a voluntary basis and 24 out of the 27 member states were reported to have joined it. This indicates that, when consulted, the EU is likely to oppose the implementation of the new US sanctions.

Once finished, the 55 billion cubic meter (bcm)/year Nord Stream 2 will have the capacity to transport 27.5% of Russia’s yearly piped gas supplies to Europe, based on volumes sent in 2018 and 2019. Russian producer Gazprom said in its investors day presentation in February that it plans to keep its supplies to Europe at about 200bcm/year until 2030. The Nord Stream 2 capacity is sufficient to satisfy almost 11% of EU gas needs based on 2019 demand, according to data collated by ICIS.

NEW US SANCTIONS

The sanctions target foreign persons who provide:

- Underwriting services, insurance or reinsurance for Nord Stream 2 pipe-laying vessels and such services are necessary for the completion of Nord Stream 2
- Services or facilities for technology upgrades, installation of welding equipment for retrofitting or tethering of, those vessels, if these services or facilities are necessary for the completion of Nord Stream 2
- Services for the testing, inspection or certification necessary for the completion or operation of the pipeline

No later than 60 days after the enactment of the legislation and every 90 days thereafter, the US State Secretary, in consultation with the Treasury Secretary, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that:

- Identifies those providing the abovementioned services or facilities
- Describes the nature of the consultations with the governments of EU member states, Norway, Switzerland and the UK, and any concerns these governments raised

PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION

Nord Stream 2 is an offshore pipeline composed of two parallel lines in the Baltic Sea.

Pipe-laying of two parallel underwater pipelines through the pipe-laying vessel Fortuna is scheduled to take place until around 31 December 2020, German Waterways and Shipping Authority Stralsund stated in a notice to mariners on 11 December. On 15 December, vessel tracking website MarineTraffic showed the Fortuna pipelayer in the zone, indicating that pipelay was still underway.

Fortuna will lay a 2.6 km section of the pipeline in the German Exclusive Economic Zone, the project developers told ICIS on Tuesday, also confirming the restart of pipelay. “All construction works are implemented in full compliance with existing permits. We will inform about further offshore construction activities in due time,” the company added.

Russia’s Fortuna is an anchored vessel and was initially contracted to lay pipes in Russian waters. Non-anchored vessels were contracted to build most of the pipeline but had to withdraw from the project in December 2019. In July 2020, Denmark agreed that both types of vessels may be used. This indicates that once it finished the German section, Fortuna could finish the Danish section too.

Fortuna averages 1.5km/day, according to Russian newspaper Kommersant. The vessel’s owner MRTS did not respond to ICIS to confirm this. If the average is correct the vessel could potentially finish the Danish section in 107 days or around 3.5 months.

As of 15 December, the Danish Maritime Authority had not received any information on a restart of pipelay in Denmark. Pipelay in Denmark is suspended until further notice, according to the latest Danish Notice to Mariners regarding the project, dated from 23 December 2019. There remains around 160km of pipes to lay in the Danish Exclusive Economic Zone.

7 December 2020

US to consult Europe on new sanctions for Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

The US has opted to consult European governments before imposing new sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which may soften or delay these.

Last week, the US Congress drafted new sanctions that will target those who provide insurance, certification, or port services to pipelayers contracted for the project. However, before imposing these sanctions, the US will consult the governments of EU member states, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.

The European Commission and Germany, where the pipeline connects to EU territory, consider US sanctions against this project extraterritorial and unacceptable.

1 December 2020

Construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipe expected to resume 5 December

On 27 November the German Waterways and Shipping Authority Stralsund published a note indicating that pipe-laying work on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline linking Russia to Germany would resume on 5 December.

23 November 2020

German association urges US to halt Nord Stream 2 sanctions

Potential US sanctions currently under discussion against companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project could weigh on US-EU talks surrounding the pipeline once the new US administration settles, Oliver Hermes, chairman of the German Eastern Business Association (Ost-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft), has said.

18 November 2020

US Senate expands sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project

The US Senate included new sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project in a key US legislative act on 16 November.

Washington has long been trying to stop the offshore pipeline between Russia and Germany. In December 2019, the US made the construction to go on hold by forcing the pipe-laying vessels contracted for the project to withdraw from it.

10 November 2020

All Nord Stream 2 investors appeal Poland fine

On 5 November, Wintershall, Shell and Engie’s Switzerland-based subsidiary appealed against the fine imposed by Polish antimonopoly authority UOKiK over the Nord Stream 2 project, the companies confirmed to ICIS. This means all six Nord Stream 2 investors have appealed the Polish decision. Back in early October, UOKiK fined the investors a total of €6.5bn for implementing the pipeline project without Poland’s consent.

6 November 2020

Russian gas producer Gazprom appeals Nord Stream 2 fine

Russian producer Gazprom has appealed against Poland’s €6.5bn fine over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. Two other investors involved in the project will also appeal, while the rest are considering the option.

21 October 2020

Berlin keeps supporting Nord Stream 2, Washington updates sanctions

German foreign minister Heiko Maas said Nord Stream 2 will be completed but the timing remains uncertain, the Foreign Office showed on its website on 17 October.

7 Oct 2020

Polish antimonopoly authority fines Nord Stream 2 gas pipe investors €6.5bn

The Polish antimonopoly authority (UOKiK) fined the investors of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline a total of Polish Zloty 29.3bn (€6.5bn) for implementing the project without UOKiK’s required consent, the authority announced on Wednesday.

In April 2017, the investors - Russia’s Gazprom, France’s Engie, Germany’s Wintershall and Uniper, Austria’s OMV and international conglomerate Shell – agreed to co-finance the €9.5bn offshore project, with Gazprom responsible for €4.75bn and the other five investors contributing €950m each in loans to Nord Stream 2 AG, a Gazprom subsidiary. Gazprom is the sole stakeholder in the project.

17 August 2020

EU Delegation opposes US sanctions on Russian gas pipe

An EU delegation in Washington has officially opposed the US threat of additional sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project last week, an EU spokesperson for foreign affairs and security confirmed on Monday.

This step marks a shift towards a more concerted EU stance, which could put more pressure on the US to find a compromise and water down its position. Before that, opposition to US sanctions had been sparse and coming mostly from Germany.

12 August 2020

Nord Stream 2 gas pipe EU investors cry foul over US sanctions

German utility Uniper and Austrian OMV expressed growing concerns regarding Washington’s intensifying efforts to stop Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline from completion.

Uniper and OMV account for 20% of the pipeline’s €9.5bn financing, with French Engie, German Wintershall and Dutch Shell covering 10% each and Russia’s Gazprom the remaining 50%.

3 Aug 2020

Polish antitrust authority fines Gazprom over Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline probe

The president of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has imposed a Polish Zloty (Zl) 213m (€48m) fine on Gazprom for failing to cooperate in an investigation into the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, UOKiK stated on Monday.

24 July 2020

Russia’s Nord Stream 2 looks to appeal court rulings

Developers of the Russian Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline have until 30 July to appeal an EU General Court ruling against allowing a derogation from third party access rules.

Nord Stream 2 had looked to the court to reverse a decision on applying EU access and unbundling regulations to pipelines connecting to the trading bloc from non-member states.

This came through amendments to the gas directive and made it less likely that Russian producer Gazprom will be able to secure full access to Nord Steam 2 after the link is completed.

16 July 2020

US threatens Nord Stream 2 gas pipe investors with sanctions

The five European companies providing half of the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline’s financing could fall under US sanctions after the state department withdrew a key cut-off date in its legislation. But this is unlikely to translate into actions, according to experts who spoke to ICIS.

6 July 2020

Russia’s Nord Stream 2 may restart gas pipelay from 3 August

On 6 July the Danish Energy Agency announced Nord Stream 2 can use pipe-laying vessels with anchors to finish the offshore section of the natural gas pipeline that will double direct Russian export capacity to Germany.

This potentially means the project developers can resume construction from 3 August.

17 June 2020

Nord Stream 2 pipelay could restart in July

The Danish Energy Agency expects to be able to make a decision in the next four weeks on whether to allow anchor vessels to restart work on the Russian pipeline Nord Stream 2.

If the agency approves the use of these vessels, pipelay in Denmark could resume from mid-July, provided there is no delay to observe and the yet-to-be-confirmed pipe-laying vessel is ready.

5 June 2020

US senators call for more Nord Stream 2 sanctions

Several US senators have called for more sanctions against Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline that will double Russian direct export capacity to Germany.

11  May 2020

Germany to reject derogation for Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline

Germany’s regulator BNetzA intends to reject a derogation request that would allow Russian Gazprom full access to Nord Stream 2 - an offshore pipeline that will double Russia’s direct pipeline capacity to Germany to 110 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year.

5  May 2020

German regulator consults on Nord Stream 2 derogation decision

German regulator BNetzA has sent its intended decision on potential derogation of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project from EU rules to parties that are involved in the process.

The consultation will last until 8 May.

The derogation would exempt the project from EU rules enforcing third party access to pipeline capacity, and legal separation of Gazprom as the owner of the pipeline from suppliers of gas using it. In reality, Gazprom is the only potential supplier from Russia.

1  April 2020

Poland unlikely to prevent derogation for Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

Despite Poland’s vocal criticism of the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline, its inclusion in the derogation procedure initiated by Germany does not mean the derogation has become less likely, experts told ICIS.

10  February 2020

Nord Stream 2 gas link completion may be possible with Russian ships

There are two pipe-laying vessels owned by Russian companies that could complete the Nord Steam 2 natural gas pipeline, although backers of the project have yet to provide plans.

There is about 7% still to be completed, all in the Danish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), after Swiss company Allseas ceased work on the link due to US sanctions.

3 February 2020

Final technical, legal hurdles for Nord Stream 2 resolvable 

Experts believe legal and technical challenges to the start of Nord Stream 2 flows can be resolved.

Once completed, Nord Stream 2 will double Russia’s direct export capacity to Germany as a first entry point to the EU to 110 billion cubic meters (bcm)/year.

20 January 2020

More Nord Stream 2 delays could cut 20bcm of Russian gas supply to Europe

Europe could face a shortfall of over 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian gas supply in 2021 from 2020’s levels if Nord Stream 2 is delayed beyond 2020 and European demand remains stable.

16 January 2020

Croatian EU presidency’s focus: Energy Charter Tearty, energy transition

In the first six months of 2020, the Croatian presidency of the EU will follow the process of modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) - a crucial agreement that can affect the way the controversial Russian pipeline Nord Stream 2 is operated.

14 January 2020

German regulator considers exempting Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from EU rules

German energy regulator BNetzA has until 24 May 2020 to publish its decision regarding a potential exemption from EU rules for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

13 January 2020

Nord Stream 2 to launch by end of 2020 or Q1 2021 - Putin

The Russian pipeline could be finished by the end of this year or in the first quarter of 2021, president Vladimir Putin said at a press conference following a meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel on 11 January.

19 December 2019

Nord Stream 2 sanctions to apply as soon as law is signed - US senators

Two US senators sent a warning letter to Nord Stream 2 pipelaying contractor Allseas asking them to stop building the Russian pipeline as soon as sanctions legislation is signed off.

“The consequences of your company continuing to do the work - for even a single day after the President signs the sanctions legislation - would expose your company to crushing and potentially fatal legal and economic sanctions,” the letter, from senators Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson, states.

13 December 2019

US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 gas link unacceptable - German MPS

Several members of the German parliament’s energy committee have spoken out against US legislation to impose sanctions on companies involved in building the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.

Sandra Weeser, group spokesperson for the Free Democrats in the German commission for economics and energy, told ICIS: “The Trump administration is pretty clearly trying to threaten Germany. It is clear that energy security is a matter of national sovereignty, and the Americans know that very well.”

5 December 2019

ICIS VIEW: Nord Stream 2 construction state of play

Construction is underway of the last section of the Russian pipeline. If the pipe-lay speed remains stable then Gazprom’s calculations to build the Danish section in five weeks remain valid and pipelay could be finished by the start of January.

But US sanctions could be voted in by mid-December, which would target the companies owning the vessels laying Nord Stream 2. If voted and observed, the sanctions could affect the completion of the 55 billion cubic meter (bcm) Russian pipeline.

4 November 2019

Market more confident in Q2 2020 launch of Nord Stream 2

The TTF and GASPOOL Q2 ’20 gas contracts have shed more risk premium than the Q1 ‘20 equivalents since Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline received a Danish construction permit.

This indicates that market participants are more confident in the pipeline starting deliveries from the second quarter of 2020 rather than in January as initially planned.

On 30 October, the 55bcm offshore pipeline connecting Russia to Germany received the final required permit to complete its construction in the Danish exclusive economic zone.

RECENT COVERAGE

Russia's Nord Stream 2 gets final permit, flows to start in 2020

Q2 ’20 GAS SUPPLY OUTLOOK: Nord Stream 2, Ukrainian transit and regional impact

Nord Stream 2 starts second legal dispute against the EU

Nord Stream 2 AG launches EU General Court action 

EU changes could make Nord Stream 2 derogation harder 

ICIS view: Nord Stream 2 - best option to meet rising EU gas demand 

Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas project unlikely to get derogation – experts

Nord Stream 2 requests derogation from amended EU Gas Directive 

EU changes could make Nord Stream 2 derogation harder

Final technical, legal hurdles for Nord Stream 2 resolvable 

Image caption: Connecting pipe sections above water. Source: Nord Stream 2