MOSCOW, Oct. 4 (Reuters) – Nord Stream 2 has started filling one of its two natural gas pipelines for testing, the operator of the gas pipeline that runs along Russia’s Baltic Sea bed has told the Germany.
The politically charged Nord Stream 2 project was designed by Moscow to bypass Ukraine with its gas exports to Europe.
The pipeline will double the export capacity of the existing Russian gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea to 110 billion cubic meters, which is equivalent to more than half of Russia’s total gas pipeline supply to Europe.
“The first chain will be filled gradually to build up the inventory and pressure required as a prerequisite for subsequent technical testing,” Switzerland-based operating company Nord Stream 2 said on Monday. The stages of pre-commissioning the second channel are underway, he added.
Nord Stream 2 is still awaiting approval from the German energy regulator to transport its gas to Germany.
The Danish Energy Agency announced on Monday that it had accepted the commissioning of the B pipeline. Certain conditions remained before the A pipeline could begin to operate, he added.
The project was delayed at the end of 2019 after sanctions by the United States, which does not want Europe to increase its dependence on energy supplies from Russia. Washington also wants to sell its own liquefied natural gas transported by sea to Europe.
Russia had to use its own ships to lay pipes on the bottom of the Baltic Sea, completing construction of the $ 11 billion project last month. Read more
The German energy regulator said last month it had four months to complete certification of Nord Stream 2 after receiving all the documents needed for the pipeline company’s operating license. Read more
Report by Vladimir Soldatkin and Olesya Astakhova in Moscow; additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen; Editing by David Goodman
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.