In the night from Sunday to Monday, the laying of pipes on the Russian Baltic gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 was completed, and preparations for the welding of the so-called “Golden” connection, which will mark the end of construction work on this energy project, which due to the imposed US sanctions is delayed with the originally planned start of work for almost a year and a half.
Russia’s smaller pipelayer Fortuna last night completed the laying of a second pipeline in Danish waters and reached the end of a pipeline in German Baltic Sea waters, according to Eadaily.
This is followed by raising the other end of the pipeline and the beginning of the final welding, ie. merging which can take several days. This is followed by testing, which is already being completed on the first pipe, which was fully completed in early June and could start operating in September or October, which will depend on certification and permission to officially start work by the German regulator. The second pipe, which is currently being completed, could then start operating in December this year at the earliest.
Russia’s Gazprom, as the majority owner of the pipeline and a gas supplier, has previously announced plans to deliver 5.6 billion cubic meters through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline this year.
Namely, before the start of the heating season in the EU, the level of occupancy of its underground gas storage capacities is only 67%. We have often written about the reasons before, and they are mainly reduced to the reduced inflow of gas to the EU due to the circumvention of the European market by suppliers of liquefied gas (LNG) and its placement on the Asian and South American markets due to more favorable. higher prices, but also due to the reduction of Russian gas supplies through existing gas pipelines, given that Gazprom primarily fills the emptied Russian storage capacities.
Gazprom reports that it is fulfilling its existing contractual obligations to Europe, but that it will be able to make additional orders only after the launch of Nord Stream 2. Meanwhile, natural gas prices on the European market jumped to unprecedented levels, and last week were more than $ 600 for 1,000 cubic meters of gas. The diversion of Algerian gas to the EU and the launch of the Southern Gas Corridor for the delivery of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian Sea did not help much.