Nord Stream II: No middle ground

Nord Stream II: No middle ground

October 9, 2017 | NewsRoomGnome | news

Nord Stream II. You’re either for it, or against it.

There may be no middle ground when it comes to the building of the controversial natural gas pipeline, according to an analysis on Petroleum Economist which explains that while Gazprom is determined on seeing that NSII is built, lawyers for Poland contend that the pipeline would undermine the EU’s goal of creating a single energy market.

Nord Stream II, you may recall, would deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia, traversing the Baltic Sea on to it’s final destination, Germany. The gas is needed there due to declining production, notes the article.

Gazprom has gathered a consortium of heavy hitters in oil and gas, a group comprised of Shell, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, all of whom are pitching into funding the project with substantial financial contributions.

Poland’s position

As we are aware in Central & Eastern Europe, Poland and others are working to decrease their reliance on a sole supplier of natural gas. Polish pressure, the piece notes, has elicited European Commission efforts to regulate the “non Russian” section of the pipeline that is in the Baltic Sea, and that means impeding Gazprom from determining the sources of supply traversing the pipeline, perhaps saving the gas transmission running through Ukraine, which Gazprom would like to stop using.

Recently, a European Council report leaked to the media implies that the Commission would have no basis for regulating the Baltic Sea section of Nord Stream II.

European Council leaked document, sanctions, economic benefits

A recent report on Euractiv writes that the Council’s legal arm is rejecting the view that Nord Stream 2 undermines the EU’s security of supply and that it argues that the opening of alternative routes like NSII would actually increase the resilience of the Union’s external supply networks. The Council also says that the Third Energy package does not apply to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, supporting the positions of the pipeline consortium.

Meanwhile, the Petroleum Economist points out that while US sanctions are likely to impede the project, most notably in terms of finance, according to a Nord Stream II-sponsored study the alleged benefits from NSII for the EU include “the equivalent of around 31,000 full-time jobs created over a five-year period and the addition of €2.26bn to GDP.”