Insight from Brussels: Start of Russian gas flow via Nord Stream 2 hangs on Danish permit

Russia’s planned 55 Bcm/year Nord Stream 2 gas link to Germany has prompted heated political debates, changes in EU law and threats of US sanctions, but its fate in the end may be decided by Danish civil servants enforcing local planning rules. The latest development is that the Danish Energy Agency has asked the Nord Stream 2 project company to provide information on a third possible route for the Danish section of the two 1,200 km parallel pipelines, while it is still assessing two pending permit requests for other routes. The problem for Nord Stream 2 is that it cannot complete the pipe-laying without a permit from Denmark, and there is no legal deadline for approving or rejecting such permits, creating uncertainty about when gas will start flowing through it. The project company wants to bring Nord Stream 2 online by the end of this year, before Russian gas pipeline export monopoly, Gazprom, reaches the expiry of its transit contract to Europe with Ukraine’s Naftogaz. Gazprom has not said yet what it will do if that date slips. Naftogaz officials have said Gazprom could meet its minimum contractual commitments to European customers without Nord Stream 2 or Ukrainian transit from… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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