The launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would balance the price parameters on the European gas market, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday, as gas futures prices kept surging high.
Russian gas giant Gazprom on Sept. 10, announced that the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was fully completed, noting that first gas supplies to the European market would be expected during heat season.
To start commercial deliveries, Nord Stream 2 AG should be certified as an independent pipeline operator.
“There is no doubt that early commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 will significantly balance the natural gas price parameters in Europe, including on the physical market, this is obvious.
“There is a high demand for gas, and it is unclear what the winter will be like. If it is cold, then even more gas will be certainly needed,’’ Peskov said.
Nord Stream (former names: North Transgas and North European Gas Pipeline) is a system of offshore natural gas pipelines in Europe, running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.
It includes two active pipelines running from Vyborg to Lubmin near Greifswald forming the original Nord Stream, and two further pipelines under construction running from Ust-Luga to Lubmin termed Nord Stream 2.
Nord Stream has a total annual capacity of 55 billion m3 (1.9 trillion cu ft) of gas, and the addition of Nord Stream 2 is expected to double this capacity to a total of 110 billion m3 (3.9 trillion cu ft).
Nord Stream projects have been fiercely opposed by the U.S., Ukraine as well as by other Central and Eastern European countries because of concerns that the pipelines would increase Russia’s influence in Europe, and because of the large reduction of transit fees for use of alternative pipelines in Central and Eastern European countries.
The builders contend that the pipeline is more important to Germany than Russia, which could just as easily sell the gas to China and other Asian nations.