Nord Stream

Pipeline of Peace

pipeline_imago_distort
Tensions musn't halt the pipeline.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Europe needs the expansion of Nord Stream to keep its energy supply secure.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The Nord Stream pipeline consists of a consortium of OMV, E.On, Shell, Wintershall and Gazprom.
    • The planned expansion of Nord Stream would double capacity by adding two additional pipelines.
    • Responding to EU sanctions last year, Russia canceled construction of the long planned South Stream pipeline to southeastern Europe, through the Black Sea.
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  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

There is no good news coming from Ukraine, where the civil war in the Donetsk Basin rages on. The Minsk peace agreement is all but worthless. The conflict also highlights the need for Europe to examine its energy supply. It urgently needs alternatives to reduce its dependence on the supply of Russian natural gas through Ukraine.

In light of the escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, expansion of the Nord Stream through the Baltic Sea to Russia by two additional pipelines must now be made a priority.

The current consortium of OMV, E.On, Shell, Wintershall and Gazprom needs more political support, so that Russian gas can safely flow to Germany and other European countries.

Nord Stream is a pipeline of peace. The planned doubling of the capacity of the pipeline, which passes through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, can guarantee the security of supply in many countries in the future.

If the Americans had their way, the Europeans would no longer be allowed to enter into new business deals with Russian gas monopoly Gazprom. But Washington will have to understand that the European Union, and especially the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, has other interests.

It makes no sense to add the gas sector to the list of sanctions in any way whatsoever. It would be suicide in terms of energy policy, since Europe obtains about a third of its natural gas from Russia. The percentage is much higher in some EU countries, like Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria.

Nord Stream is a pipeline of peace. The planned doubling of the capacity of the pipeline, which passes through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, can guarantee the security of supply in many countries in the future.

The new head of Austrian oil and gas company OMV, Rainer Seele, and BASF board member Hans-Ulrich Engel, passionately support the ambitious project which is likely to cost billions. But what is still lacking is the political support needed to turn the declaration of intent, signed by the participating companies, into reality.

Time is of the essence. In response to the European Union’s policy of sanctions, last year Russia canceled construction of the long planned South Stream pipeline, which was to supply gas through a pipeline in the Black Sea to southeastern Europe and on to Austria. Europe cannot afford another energy policy defeat of this magnitude a second time.

 

Nord Stream map Pipeline in the Baltic Sea-01 gazprom shell E.ON North Stream gas
Nord Stream map Pipeline in the Baltic Sea.

 

To contact the author: siebenhaar@handelsblatt.com

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