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Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipeline: 1,000 km of pipes laid in Baltic Sea

Author: | Date created: 12/04/2019

Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipeline: 1,000 km of pipes laid in Baltic Sea

Photo: Pioneering Spirit installing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Swedish waters. Source: Nord Stream 2 AG.

A total of 1,000 kilometers of the contentious Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has now been laid in Finnish, Swedish, and German waters.

The twin pipeline is operated by Russian Gazprom’s subsidiary, Nord Stream 2 AG.

According to a Thursday statement by Nord Stream 2 AG, two Allseas-owned pipelay vessels – Solitaire and Pioneering Spirit – are currently installing the pipeline in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone.

“Some twenty vessels are currently being engaged in the project in the Baltic Sea, with nearly 1,300 people working on board the pipelay, pipe supply and survey vessels,” the pipeline operator said in the statement.

In addition, another milestone was also reached on the project last week, when the project’s coating and logistics contractor Wasco completed concrete weight coating of its share of the steel pipes in its plant in Kotka, Finland, where approximately 101,000 steel pipes had been coated. To put things in perspective, this corresponds to half of the pipes needed for the twin pipelines.

The pipeline system consists of two approximately 1,230-kilometers-long pipelines, each made up of some 100,000 pipe joints.

Nord Stream 2 was designed as two parallel 48 inch lines, roughly 1,200 kilometers long, each starting from south-west of St Petersburg and ending at German coast, Greifswald. Nord Stream 2’s natural gas pipelines will have the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian gas a year to the EU, for at least 50 years.

Calls for cancellation

It is worth reminding that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project came under fire from the European Parliament as well as a number of U.S. senators last December who called for its cancellation due to security reason.

The call for cancellation by the EP was announced during the evaluation of the latest developments related to the EU-Ukraine association agreement, which entered into force in 2017.

The members of the Parliament condemned the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which bypasses Ukraine, saying it “poses a threat to European energy security.”

The project has been seen by some as a threat to the EU energy security, making the union vulnerable to reliance on Russian gas, and also bypassed Ukraine in moving Russian gas to Europe. To alleviate similar concerns, the EU has been working on increasing imports of LNG from the U.S. As for Ukraine. It has been said that the Nord Stream 2 would lead to the country losing $3 billion a year in transit fees.

In addition to opposition from the EP, over 40 U.S. senators have also called for the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

U.S. Senators Ron Johnson, Richard Durbin, and 39 of their colleagues introduced a resolution calling for a prompt multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea and the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in response to “Russia’s recent aggressive actions” in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov.

In more recent news, the U.S. political journal Politico reported on Thursday that the U.S. Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, had criticized the European Commission for not putting more effort into killing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Reuters reported on Thursday that the construction of the pipeline was bound to face more delays, forcing Moscow to come to an agreement with Ukraine on future gas transits.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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