How Nord Stream 2 turns into a backup gas pipeline for Europe


After three months of wandering around the seas and oceans, the "Academician Chersky" reached the Baltic. The pipe-laying vessel is located in the Kaliningrad region, where it is refueling and is preparing for further re-equipment necessary for the completion of Nord Stream-2. Given the mood of the Kremlin, the underwater gas pipeline will be built at all costs so as not to lose face completely.


Unfortunately, we have to admit that policy in this project is now much more than economic expediency. What gives reason to say so?

Alas, Russia will have to wait a very, very long time to return the billions of dollars invested in the construction of the gas pipeline.

At firstIt’s naive and stupid not to see the beginning of the global economic crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has reduced business activity and consumer demand worldwide. The “oil war” brought down quotes, competitors literally drown each other in rapidly decreasing “black gold”. Nobody needs hydrocarbons in the previous volumes; oil and gas prices will remain at low levels for more than a year.

How much Europe needs another gas pipeline today is a big question, considering that Gazprom has already signed a transit agreement with Ukraine for the next 5 years. Moreover, in addition to pipeline gas, the LNG industry is developing more and more actively. Last year, Europeans bought twice as much liquefied natural gas as in 2018. LNG is convenient in that its supplies can be quickly reoriented from one market to another. It will not replace a fully pipeline system, but its role in the diversification of energy supply sources is continuously and substantially increasing.

Secondlyas it turned out, no one in the EU is ready to lay bones for the interests of Gazprom. European partners graciously transferred to the Russian company all the costs of constructing Nord Stream-2, and the Swiss company contractor instantly abandoned laying of its underwater part at the first real threat to fall under US sanctions, which was the reason for the Academician Chersky odyssey .

The European Commission, with the explicit submission of the US Treasury Department, has extended the Third Energy Package to the gas pipeline, because of which one of the two pipes will remain empty, which automatically means a doubling of the payback period. Berlin seems to have knocked out exceptions to this rule for Nord Stream-2, but until May 2020, the pipe could not be completed due to Danish-American intrigues. Now the Federal Grid Agency of Germany (BNetzA) has decided to refuse the exception to the gas pipeline received earlier. That is, Washington achieved its goal by making the project unprofitable from an economic point of view.

Worse, the risk of imposing new US sanctions is already against European consumers of Gazprom. On the example of Iran, it was clear that the EU countries would be indignant in this case, but in the end they would do as “overseas cousins” convincingly asked them. What do we have in the dry residue?

Instead of a profitable business selling energy, Nord Stream-2 is turning into a reserve gas pipeline for Europe in case something happens to the rapidly decaying Ukrainian gas transportation system. Built, we note, at the expense of Russian taxpayers. If necessary, Berlin will increase or decrease the volume of pumping "blue fuel", using the pipeline as an argument in negotiations with LNG suppliers. In general, Europeans are the main winners so far.
Used photos: gazprom.com
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  1. 123 Offline
    123 (123) 6 May 2020 11: 34
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    Send the article to the Poles, maybe it will be useful for them to read. They just like to develop LNG and at the same time they are going to build a pipeline.
    Save them from mistakes, you will become in Poland Mr. Economy - 2020. yes
  2. Astronaut Offline
    Astronaut (San Sanych) 6 May 2020 12: 08
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    oil and gas prices will be at low levels for more than one year.

    We heard such conclusions at the end of 2008, the beginning of 2009, when the price of Brent fell from 140 to 40 dollars per barrel, and nevertheless, by the end of 2009 it had risen to 80 dollars ...
    1. Astronaut Offline
      Astronaut (San Sanych) 6 May 2020 12: 20
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      As for the gas pipe, the author has a short memory and he forgot how the Svidomo people organized a gas war and left Europe without gas. The pipe is being built in order to avoid transit through unreliable partners, just as the Baltnefteprovod was built at one time so as not to depend on the vagaries of Latvians and Lithuanians.
      1. Natan bruk Offline
        Natan bruk (Natan Bruk) 7 May 2020 07: 25
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        And that is why a transit agreement was signed with Ukraine for 5 years.
      2. Marzhecki Offline
        Marzhecki (Sergei) 7 May 2020 08: 38
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        These "unreliable" partners are completely under Western control. They are unreliable only for Gazprom.
        1. Dear sofa expert. 14 May 2020 17: 18
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          Ukraine today is an enemy state for Russia (according to the Ukrainians themselves). Do you propose to consider the enemy a reliable partner? Moreover, give the enemy the opportunity to earn money? And why such generosity?
  3. Sergey Latyshev Offline
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 6 May 2020 12: 40
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    Nothing. Southern, Chinese Gazprom built for its own, and this will be completed.
    And the loot? So the rise in price of gas and gas in the country + subsidies - everything will pay off ....
  4. cmonman Offline
    cmonman (Garik Mokin) 6 May 2020 18: 13
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    The European Commission, with the explicit submission of the US Treasury, has extended the Third Energy Package to the gas pipeline, because of which one of the two pipes will remain empty, which automatically means a doubling of the payback period.

    Sergey, again you step on the same rake! The third energy package is distributed not from the supply of the United States, but against the monopolist of the gas pipe, i.e. Gazprom. Common Sense of Consumer Protection - Pipe and Gas CAN NOT belong to one owner.
    And this law exists in all civilized countries, with the exception of Russia. I have gas pipes and electric on the street. the cable belongs to one company, and I pay for gas / electric. other companies that rent this pipe / cable. As a result of a large selection of suppliers, the cost per kW and cube. a meter of gas fell for me - many thanks to the “party / country” for caring. And Europe is fighting the Gazprom monopoly in exactly the same way - 50% of the gas in the pipe should not belong to Gazprom, even if it is looking for someone to lease to Kazakhstan, Azerbaijanis, Iran ... This is a headache for Gazprom when gas is cheap for Europeans. And no pressure from the United States, just common sense. You would have such a law in Russia ...!

    That is, Washington achieved its goal by making the project unprofitable from an economic point of view.

    C'mon man! This Gazprom spoiled profitability when he popped with a pipe across the sea! “More thoroughly" it was necessary to make calculations when dealing with consumption - it fluctuates in very wide proportions! And in huge time spaces!
    So, Gazprom does not need to feel sorry - you need to feel sorry for yourself (your grandmas were spent).
    1. Marzhecki Offline
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 7 May 2020 08: 37
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      Quote: cmonman
      Sergey, again you step on the same rake! The third energy package is distributed not from the supply of the United States, but against the monopolist of the gas pipe, i.e. Gazprom. The common sense of consumer protection is that the pipe and gas CANNOT belong to one owner.

      Amused. smile
      1. cmonman Offline
        cmonman (Garik Mokin) 7 May 2020 17: 33
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        And I was upset! no It was disappointing that you, as a lawyer, do not see the elementary defense of gas consumer rights by the state against the monopolist. What Gazprom is doing with its gas / pipe monopoly is called in the Soviet way the “bestial grin of capitalism”.
        And the fight against the monopoly is called "capitalism with a human face."
      2. cmonman Offline
        cmonman (Garik Mokin) 15 May 2020 15: 58
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        Amused ....

        Sergey, you noticed. How do I fight for your reputation? I know that it’s very proud that the pipe layer can finish the pipe. To your health! Only when you write about it, with fanfare, do not forget to say that the pipe will be half empty.

        ... such a decision means that the pipeline operator must reserve at least half the capacity for alternative suppliers, despite their absence. In other words, Gazprom, which has a monopoly on pipeline deliveries of Russian gas abroad, will be able to supply only 27,5 billion cubic meters per year, and not 55 billion.

        Those. fifty%.

        https://topcor.ru/14505-kak-severnyj-potok-2-prevraschaetsja-v-rezervnyj-gazoprovod-dlja-evropy.html#comment
    2. Dear sofa expert. 14 May 2020 17: 01
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      ... The common sense of consumer protection - pipe and gas CANNOT belong to one owner.
      And this law exists in all civilized countries, with the exception of Russia ..

      Where did you get all this nonsense ?? Do you know what you're talking about?
      Do you know how the ownership of the Nord Stream 2 AG project was initially distributed?
      PSJC Gazprom (Russia), E.ON (today Uniper) and Wintershall (both Germany), Royal Dutch Shell, OMV (Austria) and Engie (France (formerly GDF SUEZ SA) signed a Shareholder Agreement in September 2015, and established New Joint Stock Company European Pipeline AG (PNEP) with management in the city of Zug (Switzerland), Gazprom had an initial share of 50%, 10% each of BASF / Wintershall, Engie, Uniper, OMV and Royal Dutch Shell.
      And only in 2016, when these 5 western campaigns left the project, Gazprom turned out to be a monopolist of the project.
      And why should Gazprom look for some tenants ?? Who needs it, there yourself. There will be bread, there will be food.
      Are you there, in America, completely crazy already crazy?
      1. cmonman Offline
        cmonman (Garik Mokin) 14 May 2020 18: 30
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        Where did you get all this nonsense ?? Do you know what you're talking about?

        Are you pretending or really do not know what is Third Energy Package? And ask Google weakly? Or from a sofa bedsores in the brain?
        Are you there, in Russia, completely forgotten how to think?

        According to the legislation in force in the European Union since 2009 (Third Energy Package), gas pipelines in the EU should not belong to those who produce and sell gas, but to independent companies (unbundling or separation of assets). In addition, they must be available to any suppliers. This is done to liberalize the gas market and prevent monopoly.

        For Gazprom, the choice is to own a pipe or gas. Gazprom chose a pipe. Then its gas in the pipe will be 50%, not more. Teach materiel, dvoechnik ...
        1. Dear sofa expert. 14 May 2020 20: 59
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          Why do you need "Google" if you are not able to understand the essence?
          They clearly explained to you. Gazprom had no choice. He became the sole owner of the pipe after the other five companies unilaterally withdrew from the project.
          And he owns gas, because there are no other owners in this region. Is it so hard to understand the "American brain"? Maybe Zadornov was right after all?)
          1. cmonman Offline
            cmonman (Garik Mokin) 15 May 2020 15: 47
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            And he owns gas, because there are no other owners in this region. Is it so hard to understand the "American brain"?

            The "American brain" has long understood everything. I did not understand “exclusively national” (the words of the president-in-law), which has an extra chromosome.
            Translation from Russian into Russian:

            “Germany refused Nord Stream 2”

            The German Federal Grid Agency refused Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream-2 construction project, to remove the gas pipeline from the norms of the updated EU gas directive, TASS reports citing a statement from the regulator. Such a decision means that the pipeline operator must reserve at least half the capacity for alternative suppliers, despite their absence. In other words, Gazprom, which has a monopoly on pipeline deliveries of Russian gas abroad, can only supply 27,5 billion cubic meters per year, not 55 billion.

            For the most gifted, I remind you - this is 50%.
            1. Dear sofa expert. 15 May 2020 17: 18
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              ... And he owns gas, because in this region there are no other owners ..

              Why not? There is. It’s just that you probably don’t know. There is Novatek, there is Rosneft, these are the main ones. There are others. Search for yourself if you want to know more. Googling, yes it will)
    3. Dear sofa expert. 14 May 2020 17: 13
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      ... Kazakhstan, Azerbaijanis, Iran ..

      In general, with the head, along the way, there is no friendship))
      That is, you offer Kazakhs, Azerbaijanis and Iranians to extend and connect hoses to the Nord Stream hub to sell their gas?)))
  5. Vladimir B_2 Offline
    Vladimir B_2 (Vladimir B) 6 May 2020 19: 58
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    The author seems to be haunted by the laurels of Petrosyan !!!
  6. orange Offline
    orange (ororpore) 6 May 2020 21: 45
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    Vzglyad reported that a natural gas field has been discovered in China. The potential reserves of natural gas in this village of Suining District may exceed 1 trillion cubic meters.

    If this message is really such a sensational one, then China’s refusal of Russian gas supplies or their significant reduction can seriously change the prospects for Putin to be elected as the next president. He, as the practice of his 20-year rule has shown, is not inclined to develop industry, medium and small business. His economic development strategy for Russia is in fact based only on increasing gas and oil supplies abroad. Given Russia's natural “coercion” of industrialization, he is not the leader who is able to mobilize industrial production in the country. Obviously, for a real economic breakthrough, Russia needs a different leader!
    1. Dear sofa expert. 14 May 2020 17: 24
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      You’ll come to the democratic elections with your “minority of votes” and choose a new leader)
  7. Bakht Offline
    Bakht (Bakhtiyar) 12 May 2020 17: 39
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    EU Third Energy Package not extends to the Nord Stream. Neither SP-1 nor SP-2.
  8. Bakht Offline
    Bakht (Bakhtiyar) 12 May 2020 17: 41
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    Although the official goal of the law is to lower energy prices, the prices of monopolists at large wholesale contracts are often significantly lower than the spot price of gas hubs. In addition, the practice of procurement on the "gas exchange" does not guarantee a stable supply and gas that is not available for sale may be absent there, while monopolists usually guarantee the volume of supplies. Also, very often there are no real competitors to monopolists and 50% of the pipeline is empty, which causes great damage to gas consumers, since they usually pay for the creation of a gas infrastructure for their connection.

    The most famous and paradoxical example of the application of the Third Energy Package is the situation with a downtime of 50% of the OPAL gas pipeline, which caused great losses to German companies and the European Commission was forced to introduce the gas pipeline into “exceptions” to the law. However, for several years, German energy companies simply could not use 50% of all property and there were no other gas suppliers.