Gas Processing & LNG is Produced by Gulf Publishing Holdings LLC

In blow to Germany, France to back EU rules on Nord Stream 2

PARIS/BERLIN,  (Reuters) - France plans to back an EU proposal to regulate Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline, its foreign ministry said, potentially threatening its completion and dealing a blow to Germany which has been trying to garner support for the project.

The European Union executive wants to extend its internal energy market laws to offshore gas pipelines before construction is completed, giving it a say over how the new gas link under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany is used.

In its current form, Nord Stream 2, fully owned by Russian state energy firm Gazprom, would not be compliant with tougher new rules foreseen for new infrastructure projects.

Diplomatic sources said earlier that Germany had been pressuring other European capitals to block the new directive.

"France intends to support the adoption of such a directive. Work is continuing with our partners, in particular with Germany, on possible changes to the text," French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a briefing.

Any delay in building the pipeline would create uncertainty for Gazprom's partners: Germany's Uniper and BASF's Wintershall unit, Anglo-Dutch Shell, Austria's OMV and France's Engie.

The EU bloc is divided in its support for the project. Eastern European, Nordic and Baltic Sea countries view the 1,225 km (760 mile) pipeline as holding the EU hostage to Moscow, while those in northern Europe, especially Germany, prioritise the economic benefits.



An EU source said earlier that France's vote would be decisive, likely leaving Germany short of a blocking minority.

Opponents of the pipeline worry it will weaken support for Ukraine by depriving Kiev of gas transit fees along the traditional route for Russian supplies, which fill over a third of the EU's gas needs.

The U.S. ambassadors to Germany, Denmark and the European Union urged EU members to vote against the pipeline.

"Cancelling the project would send a clear signal that Moscow cannot get away unscathed with its aggression against neighbouring states, and its meddling in our democracies," they wrote in a joint op-ed published by Deutsche Welle on Thursday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Nord Stream 2 would not make Germany dependent on Russia for gas, stressing that Ukraine must remain a transit country.

"Do we become dependent on Russia due to this second gas pipeline? I say 'no', if we diversify at the same time," Merkel told a news conference in Bratislava.

Uniper, which has so far spent about 600 million euros ($681.00 million) out of the 950 million it earmarked for the project, said its assumption was that Nord Stream 2 would still be realised.

"This is a project for the next decades and therefore, to a certain extent, independent of current events," a spokesman for the group said.

A spokesman for Wintershall said the group would closely watch any further developments.

If the proposed regulation musters enough support, negotiations on final draft rules could begin as early as next week.


($1 = 0.8811 euros) (Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey in Paris, and Paul Carrel, Andrea Shalal and Markus Wacket in Berlin, Tom Kaeckenhoff in Duesseldorf and Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel and Richard Lough; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Copyright © 2018. All market data is provided by Barchart Solutions. Futures: at least a 10 minute delay. Information is provided 'as is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice. To see all exchange delays and terms of use, please see disclaimer.

                                  CMEGroup                                     Icelogo


Editorial Comment
-Adrienne Blume
China is hosting the 19th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG2019) in Shanghai from 1–5 April—an appropriate choice of host country, given China’s increased appetite for natural gas.
EWAnalysis: Canada comes late to LNG; projects and prospects mixed
- Energy Web Atlas
Canada has abundant natural gas resources.
Executive Viewpoint: BHGE developing technology-driven solutions to reduce total cost of ownership
-Alberto Matucci
While BHGE recently won new orders for LNG projects, the company remains committed to differentiating the business, implementing solutions proven in LNG into other applications of the oil and gas value chain.
Industry Trends: Russia and US go head-to-head over EU gas market
-Eugene Gerden
Lower-cost Russian gas will likely continue to dominate the EU market in the coming years, despite the growth in oil prices, to which Russian gas prices are linked.

A New Approach to Large Medium Voltage Drives

Register Now

By attending this webinar, you will learn the benefits of using a single-channel, Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) solution for applications above 9,000Hp with operating voltages from 11kV to 13.8kV. We will explore a VFD solution that does not require a step-up output transformer but still provides maximum control, environmental and motor flexibility to the end user. We will also discuss how to provide maximum reliability using power cell redundancy and the removal of water cooled components. The topics covered in the webinar include:
•A brief review of the multi-cell M2C topology
•A review of the physical implementation and the advantages it offers to the end user
•A presentation of the various implementations and ratings available for use on typical pump, compressor and fan applications.

May 7, 2019 10:00 AM CDT

Register Now


Please read our Term and Conditions, Cookies Policy, and Privacy Policy before using the site. All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws.
© 2019 Gulf Publishing Holdings LLC.