German regulator in contact with Nord Stream 2 over certification issues

A road sign directs traffic to the entrance to the Nord Stream 2 gas line landing facility in Lubmin, Germany, September 10, 2020. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke

  • Ongoing conversation about compliance issues
  • Markets worried about lack of supply, Russia says it can deliver
  • No news on likely timeline
  • Ukrainian companies want to be part of the licensing process

FRANKFURT, Oct. 22 (Reuters) – The German energy regulator said on Friday it was in contact with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline consortium and expects it to provide assurance that the project meets the regulator requirements.

The regulator also said it plans to deal with requests from Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz and Ukrainian gas network company GTSOU to participate in the pipeline certification process.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is complete and ready to pump Russian gas to Europe, but nothing is flowing yet as it is still awaiting approval from the German energy regulator.

Europe’s most controversial energy project, led by Russian gas giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM), has met resistance from the United States and Ukraine, among others.

The German regulator has until early January to certify the pipeline but could make its decision earlier.

“We are in talks with Nord Stream 2 and are waiting for the necessary evidence to be provided,” regulator Bundesnetzagentur said in a statement.

“At the Bundesnetzagentur, we closely monitor compliance with regulatory requirements,” he added.

Earlier this month, the German regulator said it had asked the pipeline operator, Swiss company Nord Stream 2 AG, to prove it met all regulatory requirements before the pipeline entered service. . Read more

Nord Stream 2 is subject to a four-month certification process and special emphasis is placed on issues of non-discriminatory access to the network on German territory and the integration of interconnection in the German market area. some gas.

Gas markets are eagerly awaiting news from the pipeline, amid a tight market with prices rising as winter approaches.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia could start sourcing as soon as Germany gives the green light, which also involves the Federal Economics Ministry’s contribution in Berlin on whether the infrastructure endangers the security of gas supply or not. Read more

After Germany’s verdict, the European Commission also has two months to review this assessment, which means certification could drag on.

Polish gas company PGNiG (PGN.WA) submitted a statement Thursday warning of increased threats to the security of gas supplies if Nord Stream 2 begins operations. Read more

Ukraine, which in 2019 struck a five-year deal with Russian gas giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM) on gas transit to Europe, complicated by political tensions between the two, has a lot to lose. that Russia can bypass Ukraine once Nord Stream 2 is operational.

Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Miranda Murray and Susan Fenton

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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