Nord Stream 2 officially pumped the first gas stream: Germany prepares to clear the way

Pipeline operator Nord Stream 2 said on October 4 that it had begun filling the pipeline with gas.

Nord Stream 2 officially pumped the first gas stream: Germany prepares to clear the way
Nord Stream 2 officially pumped the first gas stream: Germany prepares to clear the way

The gas pipeline from Russia to Europe has been criticized by some Western countries as a geopolitical weapon of Moscow.

This latest move further confirms the completion of the project, taking place in the context of Europe facing an energy crisis with low natural gas reserves and sharp increase in energy prices.


Nord Stream 2 AG said in a statement: "The first string gas pipeline of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has begun." "The chain will be filled up gradually to build up the required inventory and pressure," said the Switzerland-based company, which is owned by a subsidiary of Russian gas giant Gazprom. necessary as a prerequisite for future engineering tests." The company also said it will release more information on "next technical steps at an appropriate time."

Nord Stream 2 has for many years been a matter of dividing European nations and increasing tensions between the bloc and Washington.

The pipeline diverts supplies from an existing route through Ukraine and is expected to deprive the country of about 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in annual shipping fees from Russia. Ukraine - which has been in conflict with Russia since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 - has warned Europe that Nord Stream 2 could be used by Moscow as a strategic weapon.

The US was reluctant to let the project be completed but said it would punish Moscow if Russia used the pipeline as a weapon.

"We continue to oppose this pipeline," State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday. "We continue to believe that this is a geopolitical project of Russia and we will continue to apply the law in accordance with our periodic reviews. These assessments are, of course, still being worked out. presently."

When Gazprom announced last month that construction was complete, Kiev said it would continue to lobby against the project even after the gas has been pumped out.

Gas prices in Europe have skyrocketed at the same time due to higher winter demand, and the International Energy Agency has called on Russia to open the gas taps. Moscow said it had to wait for Nord Stream 2 to come online before supplying more gas, but also said the pipeline would counter the rise in gas prices in Europe.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters


Critics of the Kremlin accuse Russia of trying to speed up the approval process by deliberately not supplying enough gas to Europe during a time of energy crisis that has sent gas prices soaring. The Kremlin said that Russia has fulfilled all its obligations under the contract.

"The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) today requested Nord Stream 2 AG for information and, if necessary, proof that all regulatory requirements will be met during the process. This is particularly relevant with regard to fair network access and the possibility of integrating the connector into the German market," said BNetzA.

Although the 1,200km long, twin pipeline is technically complete, it needs to achieve energy transfer status from Germany's energy regulator - this is a process that has already started. September 8th and could take up to 4 months to complete.

The regulator warned that if Nord Stream 2 started operating the pipeline without BNetzA certification, it would be in violation of German law and could result in fines.

"Nord Stream 2 will continue to make all necessary efforts to ensure compliance with all applicable rules and regulations," the operator said.

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is running through the Baltic Sea with an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters. Nord Stream 2 running in parallel with Nord Stream 1 will double the capacity.

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