Nord Stream 2 is an impressive project. When completed, it’ll be the world’s longest underwater pipeline, a major engineering achievement.
It’ll be able to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas from beneath the Baltic Sea, its capacity to be doubled by an additional line, the project scheduled for completion by late 2019 or early 2020.
According to the Nord Stream 2 web site, it’ll “transport natural gas into the European Union to enhance security of supply, support climate goals and strengthen the internal energy market.”
Russia’s huge natural gas reserves and proximity to other European countries makes it “a natural partner for a new transportation route…”
It’ll run from Russia’s border, below the Baltic Sea to Germany, crossing Russian and German waters, along with economic zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Five European companies are involved in construction – including France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, along with Royal Dutch Shell. Brussels, including economic powerhouse Germany, strongly support the project.
The Trump regime lied claiming it’ll undermine European energy security and stability. Polar opposite is true. It’ll be an economic and energy boon for countries benefitting from the pipeline.
According to Gazprom Export head Elena Burmistrova, European consumers will save at least 7.9 billion euros in annual energy costs – beginning in 2020.
As liquified natural gas (LNG) demand grows, savings could exceed 24 billion euros – a lucrative market for energy supplier Russia, a boon for European energy consumers.
Trump regime Russophobes want America replacing Moscow as Europe’s main energy supplier, despite an ocean separating both continents, making it advantageous for EU countries to rely heavily on Russia for their LNG needs – impractical and expensive to ship it from the US.
Reportedly the Trump regime intends going all-out to undermine the project, planning to impose sanctions on European companies named above – involved in Nord Stream 2 construction.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert earlier threatened EU companies involved in the project, saying:
“(W)e have spent a lot of time speaking with our partners and allies overseas to explain to them the ramifications of CAATSA (the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act).”
“And how an individual or a company or a country can run afoul against CAATSA and fall into sanctions.”
“We don’t tend to comment on sanctions actions, but we’ve been clear that firm steps against the Russian energy export pipeline sector could – if they engage in that kind of business – expose themselves to sanctions under CAATSA.”
Former German Foreign Minister, current Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel denounced CAATSA, saying Berlin rejects US attempts to “push Russian gas from the European market” to sell its own.
Will tough EU talk be followed by Brussels bowing to Washington’s demands? Will European companies involved in Nord Stream 2 have second thoughts and pull out to avoid US sanctions?
Will Washington bully Europe into submitting to its interests on Nord Stream and the JCPOA? Will Brussels yield to Trump instead of pursuing what’s most beneficial to EU countries.
If past is prologue, things aren’t encouraging.