Nord Stream 2 poses no threat to European energy security: Germany

Germany’s government has determined that the Nord Stream 2 poses no threat to European energy security, clearing a key obstacle to the pipeline’s commercial launch.

Whether or not the pipeline is considered an energy security risk will be a key consideration as German energy regulator Bundesnetzagentur decides whether or not to certify Nord Stream 2’s operator as an independent transmission system operator (TSO). Certification is needed for the pipeline to commercially flow gas.

“In its analysis the Federal Economy Ministry concludes that granting certification is not threatening security of gas supply to the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union,” the ministry said in a statement on October 26.

The ministry added it had given other EU countries including Italy, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania the opportunity to consult. Poland and the Baltic states have expressed strong opposition to Nord Stream 2, arguing that Russia will seek to use the pipeline as a geopolitical tool. It did not mention Ukraine, although that country’s gas supplier Naftogaz has applied to have its say as part of the certification process.

Earlier in October, Polish state-owned gas company PGNiG said that the current energy crisis in Europe “proves the risks for security of supplies created by the Nord Stream 2 project.”

Gazprom announced in September that Nord Stream 2 was finished and it is now ready to flow gas.

Even if German regulators certify the Nord Stream 2 operator, their decision will be passed to the European Commission for review. This will cause further delays, and the Commission may disagree that the pipeline poses energy security risks. The Commission has firmly bought into the narrative that the current gas shortage in Europe is due in part to the actions of Russia, suggesting they may take a stance against the pipeline.

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