Gazprom Expects Danish Approval of Nord Stream 2 by October

(P&GJ) - Russian gas producer Gazprom expects Denmark to agree to its route application for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany in October, RIA news agency cited Gazprom’s Chairman Viktor Zubkov as saying on Thursday. 

Gazprom hopes to finish the gas pipeline project to Germany by the end of this year, but it has had delays in obtaining permits from Denmark. 

“I think they should give approval sometime in October and then we complete this very important project at the end of the year,” Zubkov was quoted as saying. 

One reason for the anticipated approval is the Danish government is expected to rule on another pipeline project – the Baltic Pipe from Norway to Poland – at the same time. If Denmark approves the Baltic Pipe but rejects Nord Stream, it may give Gazprom more leeway to appeal the decision.  

If approved, Gazprom could potentially complete the pipeline as early as the end of 2019. The company has already stated it will need about five weeks to complete laying pipe in the 80-mile (130-km) unfinished portion. 

Zubkov said more than 60 percent, 1,000 miles (1628 km), of the line has already been completed along the floor of the Baltic Sea. 

Denmark has openly delayed the project due to political opposition at home and abroad, pressing Gazprom for an alternative to its original route, which Gazprom submitted despite claims it can complete construction profitably and with minimal delays while bypassing Denmark entirely.  The route for which Gazprom expects approval passes south of Bornholm Island, within the Danish exclusive economic zone but outside its territorial waters, where Denmark's legal authority is limited. 

The project is under further pressure from the United States where a bill is currently under discussion in the House of Representatives which would impose sanctions on any company that provides pipe-laying services for the project.  

Gazprom contracted Dutch Allseas to build the first Nord Stream pipeline, Nord Stream 1, in addition to the already completed portion of Nord Stream 2 and its TurkStream pipeline. Allseas has a large amount of business in the U.S. meaning it would most likely comply with the sanctions.  

If completed, Nord Stream 2 is expected to carry up to 1.94 trillion cubic feet (55 billion cubic meters) of gas per year from Russia into Germany.  

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