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Nord Stream Pipeline

  • Category
    International Relations
  • Published
    8th Feb, 2022

Context

Amid tensions between Russia and Ukraine, pressure is mounting on Germany to stop the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.

About

The original project

  • The original Nord Stream pipeline, with an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic metres (bcm), was finished in late 2012.
  • The pipeline system’s total capacity is set to double to 110 bcm following Nord Stream 2’s completion.
  • Current status of project-: The pipeline falls in German and Danish Territory, and all but 150 km pipes for the project have already been laid.   

Facts about Russia Energy Reserve-:

  • Russia has the largest known natural gas reserves of any state on earth.
  • This is the 32% of world proven natural gas reserves mainly owned and operated by Russian monopoly Gazprom, which produces 94% of Russia’s natural gas Production.

What is Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Project?

  • Nord Stream 2 is an underwater twin pipeline that would transport natural gas from Russia directly to Germany.
  • At a length of 1,230 kilometres, it is to follow the route of the existing Nord Stream twin pipeline underneath the Baltic Sea.
  • It will carry 55 billion cubic meter of gas per year.     
  • The pipeline crosses into the exclusive economic zones of five countries: Russia, Germany, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.     
  • It would transport natural gas from Russia directly to Germany.
  • Nord Stream 2 is being built by Nord Stream 2 AG, a consortium incorporated in Switzerland.
  • Moscow-based, state-owned Gazprom is the project’s sole shareholder.   

Natural gas is a lower-carbon fuel that can replace other fossil fuels in the energy mix and deliver a reliable output to complement intermittent renewable energy.       

Largest natural gas fields in Russia

  • Urengoy field – 10.9Tcm: Located in the northern West Siberia Basin, the Urengoyskoye gas and condensate field has been in production since 1978.
  • Yamburg field – 8.2Tcm: Yamburg, which is operated by Gazprom and located in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in Tyumen Oblast, is also the world’s third biggest natural gas field.
  • Bovanenkovo field – 4.9Tcm: Located in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the onshore Bovanenkovo field operated by Gazprom has been in production since 2012.
  • Shtokmn field – 3.9Tcm: Discovered in 1988, the Shtokman gas and condensate field is located in the central part of the Russian sector of the Barents Sea, approximately 600km north-east of Murmansk and in water depths of ranging from 320m to 340m.
  • Zapolyarnoye field – 3.5Tcm: The Zapolyarnoye field is located in the southern part of the Taz District, 220km away from Novy Urengoy, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area.

 Objections

  • Environmentalists argue that it will create further dependence of Germany on fossil fuels, which will impact its fight against climate change.
  • The US says that the pipeline will make Europe further dependent on Russia for energy security. Russia could use it as a geopolitical weapon.
  • Countries like Ukraine, Poland and Belarus are also opposing it as they will lose billions as transit fees due to bypassing.
  • The US has threatened to impose sanctions on Nord Stream if Russia invades Ukraine. Germany has also said that it may be forced to impose sanctions.
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