Nord Stream 2 reportedly still dormant in Danish waters

Despite recent news stating the opposite, the contentious gas pipeline's completion remains out of sight, the Danish Energy Agency tells EnergyWatch.

Photo: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Nord Stream 2 AG has still not presented a plan for how it intends to go about laying the final 150 kilometers of pipe to complete the Russian-German connection.

The lacking section pertains to a stretch of German and Danish waters, and the project's work status remains the same from December last year.

This is because US sanctions have rained down on the project and have, for instance, prompted Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas to withdraw as supplier.

To complete the undertaking, Nord Stream 2 AG has been obliged to come up with a new plan that can circumvent US sanctions.

Assuming that's possible, the Russian-German project will still need to inform the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) about the plan and may not lay more pipe until having done so – and no such submission has yet landed on the agency's desk.

"The status is that we have not received an updated plan from the NS2 company. Before work can commence in Danish waters, the company must submit a timetable for the work concerning a variety of activities. Among other things, this must be done so we can supervise the efforts," the DEA tells EnergyWatch in a written statement.

Needs no approval

Tuesday, Bloomberg News otherwise reported that Germany's maritime and hydrological agency had disclosed that Nord Stream 2's main backer and operator, Russian Gazprom, has most likely contracted pipe-laying vessel Akademik Cherskiy to install the remaining section, adding that construction work is expected to resume this week.

If that's in fact the case, then the project developer must be scurrying right, because Danish authorities have not been informed of this intention.

The DEA will, however, not need to approve an updated plan, so in principal the time between plan and action could indeed be short if Nord Stream AG has found a contractor willing to complete the development.

EnergyWatch sent several questions to Nord Stream 2 last week concerning its plans for the final project phase, but the company has not yet replied to our request for comment.

The gas project is valued at USD 11 billion and involves Gazprom, Uniper, Wintershall Dea, Shell, OMV and Engie.

Initially, the gas was meant to have started flowing in late 2019.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen

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