‘Never Say Never’: Gazprom Responds to US Claim That Russia ‘Can’t’ Complete $10 Bln Gas Pipeline


The impending completion of the $10 billion, 1,230 km Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline stretching from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea hit a snag after Washington slapped sanctions on the project, prompting pipelaying contractor Allseas Group S.A. to pull out. Moscow says the project will be finished anyway.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov has advised US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette not to rush to conclusions about Nord Stream 2’s prospects.

Earlier, speaking to Bloomberg at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Brouillette suggested that Gazprom “can’t” circumvent US sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 project and complete it on its own.

Nord Stream 2 pipeline being laid.

‘No Super Technologies Required’

Late last year, with just 160 km of pipe left to build, the US slapped sanctions on contractors involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The move led to an angry rebuke from Berlin and Moscow, and prompted Swiss-based Allseas Group SA to suspend its commitments amid threats of “crushing and potentially fatal legal and economic” consequences.

Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture between Gazprom and five major Western European energy concerns including Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, France’s ENGIE, Austrian OMV, and UK-Dutch conglomerate Royal Dutch Shell. When completed, the pipeline will be able to transit up to 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia to Germany, thereby doubling the capacity of the existing Nord Stream network, and turning Germany into a gas hub.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak confirmed late last year that Nord Stream 2 would be completed by the Akademik Cherskiy, a recently-built pipelaying vessel normally stationed in the Russian Far East. The ship left the port of Nakhodka a few days ago and is on route to the Baltic Sea, and is currently sailing off the Taiwan coast.

Last week, German business outlet Handelsblatt reported that the US was planning additional sanctions if Russia moved to complete the pipeline, with the restrictions expected to be announced sometime later this month or in March, and targeting either the European energy companies involved or potential buyers of the gas.

Late last year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that he was confident that Nord Stream 2 couldn’t be stopped, because Europe understands its commercial and energy security interests, and won’t take kindly to US bullying. Moscow estimates the pipeline will be completed by early 2021 at the very latest.

Sourse: sputniknews.com

‘Never Say Never’: Gazprom Responds to US Claim That Russia ‘Can’t’ Complete $10 Bln Gas Pipeline

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