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Germany halts Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline

Tags: International News

Germany on 22 February 2022 halted the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline project in response to the Russian President Vladimir Putin decision to recognise the breakaway Ukrainian region of  Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic, as an Independent country on 21 February 2022.

  • The Nord 2 gas pipeline is  designed to double the flow of Russian gas direct to Germany. Europe's most ambitious and divisive energy project, worth $11 billion, was finished in September, but has stood idle pending certification by Germany and the European Union.

  • Nord 2 and Nord 1 pipelines could deliver 110bn cubic meters of gas to Europe every year. That is over a quarter of  all the gas that European Union countries use annually.

Controversy over the pipeline

  • The pipeline  was meant to  ease the pressure on European consumers facing record energy prices amid a wider post-pandemic cost of living crisis. 

  • The Nord 2 gas pipeline has been controversial from its inception . Germany, which meets half of its gas requirement from Russia, argued that the project was a commercial one not political. 

  • But the pipeline had faced opposition within the European Union and from the United States. They feel that the pipeline will increase European energy dependence on Russia and the Russians can use it to blackmail Europe in future conflict .

  • It will also deny transit fees to Ukraine through which another Russian pipeline passes through and enable Russia to punish Ukraine and possibly invade it .   

  • Russia planned the Nord gas pipeline after there was a dispute over transit fees with Ukraine on the gas pipeline passing through its territory and Ukraine was found to be using gas meant for Western Europe for itself without the permission of Russia in  2005.

Nord 2 Gas pipeline 

  • It is a 1200 Km gas pipeline which will transport natural gas from Ust Luga gas field in Russia to Greifswald in Germany under the baltic sea.

  • The Nord 2 pipeline is owned by the Russian state owned gas company Gazprom. It paid half the cost but the rest of the cost was shared by Shell ,Austria's OMV ,France's Engie and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall.

  • The Nord 1 pipeline which started transporting gas to Europe along the same route started its operation in 2011.

Fact File 

Top Natural Gas Producing countries in the world (2020)

  1. United States 

  2. Russia

  3. Iran

  4. Qatar

  5. China 

Country having  biggest  reserves of Natural Gas (2020)

  1. Russia 

  2. Iran 

  3. Qatar

  4. Turkmenistan

  5. United States 

Source : BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2021.

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