Nord Stream 2: Russia’s legal battle to boost gas supplies to Germany

Nord Stream 2: Russia’s legal battle to boost gas supplies to Germany

Germany’s energy regulator said on Tuesday that certification for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was suspended. The energy regulator said that the Swiss-based consortium is required to form a company under German law to get a licence.

Here are some significant events in Nord Stream 2’s development (in chronological order):

2011

November: Gazprom and Western partners look into expanding the Nord Stream pipeline system by a further 55 billion cubic metres at an initial estimated cost of 9.5 billion euros ($11.3 billion).

2015

June: Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), E.ON (EONGn.DE), OMV (OMVV.VI), Wintershall (WINT.UL) and Engie (ENGIE.PA) agree to build the pipeline.

2016

March: Eight EU governments object on geopolitical grounds.

2017 April: Financing agreements are signed.

2018

January: Germany grants permits for construction and operation.

2019

January: The U.S. ambassador to Germany says companies involved in NS 2 could face sanctions.

December: Swiss-Dutch company Allseas suspends pipe-laying.

U.S. President Donald Trump signs a defence policy bill including sanctions.

2020

May: Germany’s energy regulator declines to grant a waiver of EU gas directives to the operators, while an EU court also throws out a challenge to the rules.

Sept. 3: Pressure mounts on Berlin to reconsider support after the alleged nerve agent attack on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Sept. 23: The world’s largest group of shipping insurers says it will not insure vessels involved in NS 2.

Oct. 1: Denmark gives NS 2 permission to operate in Danish waters.

Dec. 3: The United States unveils a bill targeting companies and individuals helping NS 2.

Dec. 28: NS 2 says it has completed the 2.6 km section in German waters. read more

2021

Jan 20: Trump on his last full day in office imposes sanctions on Russian pipe-laying ship Fortuna.

German environmental groups file complaints with maritime regulator BSH, effectively preventing further work in Germany. read more

Jan. 21: The European parliament passes a resolution calling for a stop to NS 2 completion in response to the arrest of Navalny in Russia.

Jan. 24: Fortuna resumes work in Danish waters. read more

April 22: The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee advances a bill to pressure companies helping to build NS 2.

May 19: The U.S. State Department waives sanctions around participants of Nord Stream 2, saying it was in the U.S. national interest.

June 4: President Vladimir Putin says Russia has finished laying the first line of the pipeline to Germany.

June 7: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says completion of Nord Stream 2 is a “fait accompli”, defending the U.S. decision to waive some sanctions and vowing a response if Moscow tries to use gas as a weapon.

June 10: Nord Stream 2 says the project will start preparations to fill the first of two pipelines with natural gas within a few months.

July 22: The United States and Germany announce an agreement on NS 2 under which Berlin also pledged to respond to any attempt by Russia to use energy as a weapon against Ukraine and other Central and Eastern European countries. read more

July 28: The pipeline operator says NS 2 is 99% complete.

Aug 20: The Biden administration imposes sanctions on a Russian ship and two companies involved in the pipeline. read more

Putin says there are 15 km (9 miles) left to finish NS 2.

Aug 25: Duesseldorf Higher Regional Court rules that Nord Stream 2 is not exempt from European Union rules that require the owners of pipelines to be different from the suppliers of the gas that flows in them to ensure fair competition.

Sept 6: Russian pipelaying vessel the Fortuna welds the final piece of pipe into place.

Sept 10: Gazprom says it has completed the construction of the pipeline from Russia to Germany.

Sept 13: Germany’s energy regulator said it had four months to complete certification of the Nord Stream 2.

Oct 4: Nord Stream 2 has started filling one of its two pipelines with natural gas for tests, the pipeline operator said.

Oct 5: Nord Stream 2 said it has appealed a court decision that confirmed the pipeline will not be exempt from EU rules that require the owners of pipelines to be different from the gas suppliers.

Oct 6: An adviser to the EU’s top court said Gazprom’s Swiss unit could challenge an EU gas rule that requires gas producers to be separate companies from those that control the pipeline.

Oct 18: NS 2 said the first of the project’s two lines had been filled with “technical gas”, in other words preliminary gas flows to prepare for full-scale operation.

Oct 21: President Vladimir Putin said Russia could start supplies of natural gas to Europe via the NS 2 pipeline as soon as it gets the green light from Germany.

Nov 15: Germany’s energy regulator said Ukrainian gas companies Naftogaz and GTSOU were given notice that they would be included in the ongoing German certification procedures.

Nov 16: Germany’s energy regulator said the certification process for NS 2 was suspended. read more

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