June 2019, Vol. 246, No. 6

Global News

Nearly Half of Nord Stream 2 Pipelaying Complete

(P&GJ) – As American politicians seek sanctions and Denmark debates route approval, construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has moved steadily ahead. By mid-May, more than 745 miles (1,200 km) of pipe — about half the total length of Nord Stream 2 — had been laid in the Baltic Sea, company officials confirmed.  

Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit lays pipe for the Nord Stream 2 in Swedish waters. (photo: Gazprom)

Nord Stream 2 will be a twin natural gas pipeline, with each of the lines spanning 764 miles (1,230 km) from Russia to Germany, for a total of 1,530 miles (2,460 km) of pipe. Planned capacity of the two strings of Nord Stream 2 is 55 Bcm of gas year.  

Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany have already issued construction permits for the project, but Denmark has yet to decide whether it will permit construction in its waters. Seeking to overcome Danish objections, Nord Stream 2 developers have applied for a third route south of Denmark’s Baltic Sea island of Bornholm.  

The planned Baltic pipeline has come under fire from the United States and some European countries that are concerned it will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian energy supplies. Moreover, it is believed that the pipeline would deprive Ukraine of lucrative gas transit fees, potentially making Kiev more vulnerable.  

Washington, which wants to sell U.S. LNG to Europe, has threatened sanctions against companies involved in the undersea pipeline. While it is wholly owned by Russian gas giant Gazprom, half of the project’s $9 billion (8 billion euro) cost is covered by five European energy and chemicals companies including Shell, BASF and ENGIE.  

But gas by pipeline from Russia offers Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, and other countries in the region a cheaper option for fuel than LNG from the United States and other producers.  

On April 30, the Allseas Solitaire started laying the first pipe in Russian waters.  Supply vessels are delivering the 40-foot (12-meter), 24-ton concrete weight-coated pipes from a logistics hub in Kotka, Finland.  

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