A stalemate is taking place over the production of Gazprom’s US $11 million pipeline delivering gas from Russia to Germany.
Considered a geo-political exercise as much as an economic one, the 1,200 km of pipeline not only creates additional capacity for Europe, it is also about supplanting the current route which runs through the Ukraine.
Tensions with Ukraine have European leaders wanting to tamper Russia’s imperial overreach. There is also resistance from the United States and several European countries including Poland and Ukraine, fearful that Russia will use the distribution of gas as political leverage, cutting off supply when it wants to.
NordStream 2 was first announced in 2015 as a means to double the existing capacity of Nord Stream 1 which served 26m German homes. The pipeline’s construction was completed in September after many postponements and legal hurdles. Gazprom is still waiting for final legal permission from German regulators to start sending gas down the pipeline. Permission to begin was the subject of early infighting within the new German coalition.
Russia seemed to take a relaxed approach to the delay, profiting from windfall revenues from high European gas prices. Politicians also accuse Russia of holding back additional supplies to speed up the certification process which is contributing to rocketing gas prices.
Read how EU regulatory requirements and geo-political forces are at play with one of the largest energy engineering projects paralysing the West here.