Austrian Energy Giant OMV Reveals When Nord Stream 2’s Second Line Will Be Ready to Pump Gas

© Sputnik / Dmitrij Leltschuk / Go to the mediabankA Nord Stream 2 employee stands on a platform in the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline's receiving station, where six and a half million cubic meters of natural gas per hour will be processed and delivered to downstream pipelines at the right pressure, in Lubmin, Germany
A Nord Stream 2 employee stands on a platform in the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline's receiving station, where six and a half million cubic meters of natural gas per hour will be processed and delivered to downstream pipelines at the right pressure, in Lubmin, Germany - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.10.2021
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Nord Stream 2’s commissioning is awaiting approval from regulators in Berlin and Brussels as Europe braces for a cold winter. One of the project’s twin pipelines was filled with technical gas last week, with pre-commissioning procedures on the second pipeline currently underway.
The second leg of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be filled with gas before the end of 2021, Alfred Stern, chief of Austrian energy giant OMV, has announced.
“Nord Stream 2 AG also informs us that it aims for the second line to be filled with gas by the end of the year,” Stern said, speaking at a press conference on Friday.
The CEO confirmed that the pipeline’s first string has already been tested, filled with gas and prepared for use. He stressed that he could not speculate as to when the pipeline would be commissioned.
Stern said that he believes Nord Stream 2 could make an important contribution to the diversification of European gas infrastructure, and help address the current imbalance between supply and demand seen in the region’s gas market.
Map of the European natural gas pipeline network. Source - DIW 2018, based on Kai-Olaf Lang and Kirsten Westphal, “Nord Stream 2 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.10.2021
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Nord Stream 2 began filling up with gas at the beginning of the month. On 18 October, Nord Stream 2 AG, the company’s Switzerland-based operator, reported that one of the pipeline’s two strings was filled with gas, creating the pressure necessary for deliveries to begin. However, in order for this to happen, Nord Stream 2 still needs to be certified as an independent operator, with this process threatening to drag on until spring 2022 and the end of the current heating season, particularly if it faces resistance from Germany’s Green lawmakers and US allies in the European Union’s institutions.
OMV is one of the half-a-dozen companies involved in Nord Stream 2 alongside Russia’s Gazprom, Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, France’s Engie, and the UK-Dutch concern Royal Dutch Shell. The project envisions the delivery of Russian-sourced gas to northeastern Germany using a twin pipeline laid at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. From there, the gas can be delivered to other countries in Central and Western Europe, with Germany serving as a gas hub. Once up and running, the project will be able to deliver up to 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year – thereby doubling the capacity of the existing Nord Stream network, which was launched between 2011 and 2012.
The United States has spent over two years seeking to sabotage Nord Stream 2 via sanctions amid a bid to sell Europe its liquefied natural gas supplies. The Biden administration moved to scrap restrictions against Nord Stream 2 AG this summer with the aim of improving relations with Germany – the project’s main European beneficiary. In recent weeks, Washington has expressed “concern” about the gas shortages facing Europe, and has blamed Moscow for the supply crunch. Russian officials and Gazprom have dismissed the allegations.
FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen at the construction site of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, near the town of Kingisepp, Leningrad region, Russia, June 5, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.10.2021
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