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Work Starts on Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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Preparatory work for the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline recently started off the German coast, even though U.S. President Donald J. Trump has demanded that Germany drop the pipeline as part of a trade deal with Europe that wouldn’t include high tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The work for Russian gas giant Gazprom’s pipeline began in the Bay of Greifswald, located on Germany's Baltic Sea coast.

Pipeline Prep

According to The Local, Nord Stream 2 is set to follow the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline, and is slated for completion in 2019. Though the work has begun, the project remains controversial, as fears remain that the endeavor could be used to increase Russian influence.

© iStock.com / kozmoat98

Preparatory work for the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline recently started off the German coast, even though U.S. President Donald J. Trump has demanded that Germany drop the pipeline as part of a trade deal with Europe that wouldn’t include high tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Nord Stream 2 will allow Moscow to route gas exports around Ukraine. Since the establishment of Nord Stream 1 in 2011, the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine has declined. German chancellor Angela Merkel has also highlighted the fact that Germany’s support for the pipeline in now in question, as the project cannot go forward without unless there were guarantees for Ukraine in terms of overland gas transit.

Gazprom is willing to maintain transit of gas through the Ukraine, but at lower volumes; the country rejected this offer.

Presidential Demands

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. has long opposed the pipeline, given the needs of Ukraine and the energy interdependence of Europe. A U.S. official also pointed out concerns that the pipeline would allow Russia to install monitoring technology in the Baltic Sea. (Though, Bloomberg notes, this is unlikely due to the fact Nord Stream 2 will run parallel to its predecessor; Nord Stream 1 could be used for the same purpose.)

“When we look at the ability of governments and companies to use infrastructure deployments as a means to convey devices and technologies that can listen and follow and monitor, that is a concern with regard to this particular undersea pipeline project in the Baltic Sea,” said Sandra Oudkirk, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy. “The new project would permit new technologies to be placed along the pipeline route and that is a threat.”

Greenpeace has also criticized the project, stating that the route should be changed to avoid the Kurgalsky wildlife preserve, located near St. Petersburg.

   

Tagged categories: AS; Asia Pacific; Government; Infrastructure; Oil and Gas; Pipelines; Program/Project Management

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