Berlin decision on Nord Stream 1 signifies sentence on Nord Stream 2


It became known about the first tangible victory of Gazprom in the war for the European market. The German regulator exempted the Nord Stream-1 gas pipeline from the Third EU Energy Package for an impressive period of 20 years.


What does this mean for the domestic monopolist, and should we expect a similar solution now with regard to Nord Stream-2?

The Nord Stream-1 project was launched in 2010, the next year deliveries began on the first thread, and in 2012 on the second. Its design capacity allows pumping 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year into Germany, but at the peak of consumption, almost 59 billion cubic meters were able to “squeeze” into the pipe. This project was the first to be faced with antitrust regulations of the EU's Third Energy Package, whose goal is to “liberalize the market”. Because of this, one of its branches, the OPAL gas pipeline, with a throughput of 36 billion cubic meters per year, turned out to be 50% empty.

The parties managed to find a compromise, according to which Gazprom was able to gain access to half of the artificially released pipeline capacities through an auction system. But now Poland has opposed it, considering Nord Stream-1 a threat to its energy security. OPAL is half full again, supplying consumers with only 18 billion cubic meters of gas. A year ago, the European Union expanded the scope of its Third Energy Package to its offshore pipelines, jeopardizing all of Gazprom’s energy projects in Europe. Instead of 55 billion cubic meters per year, the domestic monopolist could pump only 1 billion cubic meters per year through Nord Stream-27,5. Of these, 20 billion would be taken by the Nel branch, and only 7,5 billion would be left on OPAL.

This is a serious blow to Gazprom and its end users. Obviously, the United States is the main beneficiary of Brussels’s actions, striving to take its share in the European gas market. But Berlin did not give offense. The decision of the German regulator exempted the Nord Stream-1 Directive from the Third Energy Package. In general, this decision of Germany is a common victory for Berlin and Moscow. However, it should be noted that with regard to the Nord Stream-2 Russian corporation, the same exception was refused. Due to fear of US sanctions, Swiss contractors abandoned construction, thereby disrupting all deadlines, and Gazprom could not keep up with the deadline. The Kremlin promises to complete the construction of Nord Stream-2 at any cost; the Akademik Chersky pipe-laying vessel has already arrived in the Baltic Sea, which is capable of completing the offshore section of the gas pipeline. But now the problem is different.

In response, the United States threatens with new sanctions, which may already be extended to the state corporation itself and its European consumers. This is a serious matter, the example of Swiss contractors has clearly demonstrated how great the fear of American sanctions is in the EU. Russian experts have voiced various options for how these restrictions can be circumvented. First, one can try to prove in court that amendments to the Third Energy Package constitute discrimination against a joint Russian-German project. Secondly, it is possible to create a separate operator company to manage the 22-kilometer section of the offshore gas pipeline. Thirdly, with the consent of end consumers, the point of acceptance can be moved to Russian territory.

Is Germany ready for a direct conflict with the United States over Nord Stream 2 today? Not just in words, but in fact fall under American sanctions? Honestly, it seems that Berlin is launching Nord Stream-1 at full capacity, realizing that it will have serious difficulties in launching the second gas pipeline in the near future. Some experts are of the opinion that Gazprom will now be able to make “stream castling” by redirecting volumes falling from OPAL to the Eugal gas pipeline, a continuation of the unfinished Nord Stream-2 onshore.
Used photos: www.nord-stream.com
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  1. Sergey Latyshev Offline
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 21 May 2020 17: 48
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    That is, Gazprom knew in advance about all these laws about 50% and laid them in the calculations.
  2. Alexei Ushakov Offline
    Alexei Ushakov (Alexey Ushakov) 21 May 2020 18: 25
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    You wrote that they won’t finish it at all))) And he threatened people directly)) And now it turns out that they will finish it, only it will not be profitable)))
    1. master3 Offline
      master3 (Vitali) 22 May 2020 17: 31
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      ... only it will not be profitable ..

      - Only he will be half Russian, 50%.
  3. 123 Offline
    123 (123) 21 May 2020 20: 35
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    The Kremlin promises to complete the "Nord Stream-2" at any cost

    Do they say that right? belay In my opinion, they said that they would just finish building and spit on a spit all the sanctions.

    Some experts are of the opinion that Gazprom will now be able to do “stream castling” by redirecting volumes falling from OPAL to the Eugal gas pipeline, a land continuation of the unfinished Nord Stream-2.

    And where do you find them like that? Gazprom is not going to do any castling, it delivers gas to the shore, and there the Germans have problems.
    1. Marzhecki Offline
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 22 May 2020 12: 31
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      Quote: 123
      The Kremlin promises to complete the "Nord Stream-2" at any cost

      Do they say that right? belay In my opinion, they said that they would just finish building and spit on a spit all the sanctions.

      Some experts are of the opinion that Gazprom will now be able to do “stream castling” by redirecting volumes falling from OPAL to the Eugal gas pipeline, a land continuation of the unfinished Nord Stream-2.

      And where do you find them like that? Gazprom is not going to do any castling, it delivers gas to the shore, and there the Germans have problems.

      https://www.rbc.ru/newspaper/2019/12/24/5e00b40a9a7947646bbc304e

      Did someone authorize you to speak for Gazprom?
      1. 123 Offline
        123 (123) 22 May 2020 13: 10
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        Did someone authorize you to speak for Gazprom?

        No, of course, I didn’t authorize, however, like you, winked I have enough opportunity to independently get acquainted with the information and draw conclusions. Which I recommend to you. yes
        In the link you provided, I did not find any mention of Miller tearing a vest on his chest and promising to fight to the last drop of blood or to the last ruble on the card. Where at all costs?

        As for the “castling,” in the onshore part of the gas pipelines Gazprom owns only a part of the shares, this is not its pipe, it is only one of the shareholders. It looks something like this:

        The project operator is Gascade Gastransport, owned by Gazprom and Wintershall through the WIGA joint venture.
        Gascade Gastransport owns a 50,5% interest in the EUGAL project, while Fluxys Deutschland, Gasunie Deutschland Transport Services and Ontras Gastransport each have 16,5%.

        https://neftegaz.ru/tech-library/transportirovka-i-khranenie/507677-gazoprovod-eugal-/

        This is a problem, first of all, of the Germans; they cannot operate a pipe built in their own pipe with their own money. Our "German partners" will be lugging around the ships while operating the gas pipelines, by the way, their money has been invested in Nord Stream-2 and they are no less interested than Gazprom. We will observe how it all ends /

        And you just take the title of the article from RBC:

        Gazprom Makes Stream Castling

        - And without delving into the essence, you begin to tell us that this is a problem exclusively of Gazprom.
      2. Dear sofa expert. 22 May 2020 17: 57
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        .. And someone authorized you to speak for Gazprom? ..

        Did he authorize you? Why go so personal to the dispute? Here, everyone says what he considers correct, based on the information he receives.
  4. Bakht Offline
    Bakht (Bakhtiyar) 21 May 2020 23: 21
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    I carefully read the solution. It is ridiculous that there is not a word about either SP-1 or SP-2. There is simply the name "Nord Stream".
    Judging by the context, we are still talking about SP-1. But the regulator’s decision says about the territory of Germany and the surrounding waters without any specifics. So, when the SP-2 is completed, this decision will automatically apply to him too.

    https://www.nord-stream.com/press-info/press-releases/nord-streams-contribution-to-european-security-of-supply-confirmed-513/
    1. Kristallovich Offline
      Kristallovich (Ruslan) 22 May 2020 08: 42
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      Such a concept as SP-1, in principle, does not exist. There are Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2.
      1. Bakht Offline
        Bakht (Bakhtiyar) 22 May 2020 10: 37
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        Yes you are right. SP-1 and SP-2 I use for convenience. But what does this quote mean?

        With these changes, the regulations of the Third Energy Package are applied to the sections of the offshore gas pipelines in the territories of an EU member state, where the first interconnection point with the gas pipeline network is located.

        As I understand it, the rules of the Third Energy Package apply only at (after) the point of entry into the territory of a country that is a member of the EU. This also applies to offshore pipelines. All, without exception.
        For reference. The German Federal Network Agency regulates the use of power grids and gas lines. It seems that there was information a month ago that they decided that the third energy package is also acting on SP-2. Have you changed your mind now? Most likely, they will act on the basis of the real situation. If gas is needed, it will be brought to full capacity. Not needed - they will leave 50%.
      2. The comment was deleted.
      3. Dear sofa expert. 22 May 2020 18: 11
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        ... In principle, such a concept as SP-1 does not exist. There are Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 ..

        On the one hand, you are right. The concept of SP-1 does not exist, but there is an official name: North European Gas Pipeline, (NEGP).
        If the Germans didn’t want to leave a “legal loophole” for themselves, calling this Ostseepipeline a generic name for Nord Stream, then they would have entered the official NEGP.
        You need to know the Germans well, with their hypertrophic pedantry, in order to understand that such important “inaccuracies” simply cannot be accidental.
        The Germans left themselves room for maneuver.
  5. bear040 Offline
    bear040 22 May 2020 22: 33
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    Too much money has been invested in SP-2, and not only Russian, so it’s cheaper to finish building than to abandon it, especially since stable deliveries through Russophobia-affected countries of the former USSR and the Warsaw Pact are simply impossible!
  6. Alexander Churinov (Alexander) 23 May 2020 11: 32
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    In the current situation with a crisis in energy sales around the world, Germany’s refusal to free Nord Stream-2 from EU restrictions can only be beneficial to Russia. Less sticks will be inserted into the wheels for the completion of the Nord Stream-2. Now the main thing is to complete and wait for the end of the crisis in the energy sector. By the fall, everything will change. And then, with the completed Nord Stream -2, it is possible to raise the issue of lifting restrictions on gas pumping. Germany will need to get out of the crisis as soon as possible and of course it will need cheap pipeline gas. And Germany will be bolder in defending its interests. Business operates according to the law of greed. Where cheaper, there it takes. Pipeline gas will always be cheaper than LNG. In the meantime, let the Americans and the Saudis incur losses with their LNG.
  7. Andrey Terekhov Offline
    Andrey Terekhov (Andrei) 23 May 2020 12: 07
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    If Potok-2 will pay off 100 years with these limitations, then nobody needs it. You can either give a license to Mikhelson and Novatek will fill the second half of the pipe, or establish an LLC - gasket, which will be a supplier instead of Novatek.