EU Could Have Avoided Fuel Crisis If It Didn’t Politicise Nord Stream 2, Expert Says
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The current energy crisis in the Europe could have been easily avoided if the bloc had refrained from delaying operation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline for political reasons, Mamdouh Salameh, an international energy economist and visiting professor of energy economics at the ESCP Europe Business School in London, told Sputnik.
The economist adduced the role of the EU's energy policies and pressure from environmental activists as reasons for European energy companies to divest themselves of their oil and gas assets, which has contributed to the supply deficit. To add insult to injury, the EU countries might have misread the market and delayed replenishing their gas reserves, according to Salameh.
"The EU could have saved itself a lot of the energy crisis it is facing now if it didn’t politicize energy by using various tactics to delay the operation of the newly-completed Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is supposed to bring 50 billion cubic metres of additional Russian gas supplies under the Baltic Sea to Germany and the EU," Salameh said.
Natural gas prices have been surging on the European market over the past few months, spurred by growing energy demand amid an economic recovery after months of lockdowns, as well as a limited supply. On Wednesday, the price of gas futures in Europe broke a new record, exceeding $1,900 per 1,000 cubic meters, although it went down several hours later.
6 October 2021, 15:55 GMT
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, OMV, Engie, Uniper, and Wintershall. The pipeline is designed to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea. On September 10, Russia's Gazprom announced that the project was completed. A number of politicians in the US and European countries have voiced opposition to the pipeline, especially regarding its meaning for the future of gas transit via Ukraine.