Nord Stream 2 suspended, gas prices in Europe rise again

Moscow has responded to the recent suspension of certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. According to Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Moscow did not see political motives for such a step, TASS reports.

Answering a question about the political background in Germany's decision to suspend the certification of the newly built gas pipeline system, Peskov said: 

“No, absolutely not. In this case, there are certain protocols, there are certain rules of European legislation in this regard, and the operator company, in fact, is ready to fulfill all the requirements of the current legislation in order to launch this important project as soon as possible."

The certification of the Russian gas pipeline is a complex process, which was clear from the very beginning. 

“The operator company fulfills all the necessary requirements of the regulator, in fact, we saw a fairly prompt reaction from the Nord Stream 2 company yesterday,” Peskov said, adding that the certification of the gas pipeline was not interconnected with the energy crisis in Europe.

The German Federal Network Agency suspended the certification process for Nord Stream 2 on November 16. The regulator clarified that the operator of the Nord Stream 2 AG gas pipeline could be certified as independent only when it completes the creation of a subsidiary in Germany for the German section of the pipeline. In this case, the process of launching Nord Stream 2 will fully comply with German law.

The Minister of Economy of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, Sven Schulze, commented on  the delay in the certification of the gas pipeline. In his opinion, the decision of the Federal Network Agency will lead to production losses and higher prices. 

“I see a big problem in the fact that Nord Stream 2 will not operate all winter, which has now become clear,” the politician said.

Price on gas in Europe rise again

Meanwhile, prices on natural gas in Europe have soared again. For the first time since the end of October, they reached the level of $1,100 per thousand cubic meters, according to the ICE exchange.

The cost of December gas futures according to Dutch TTF index rose to $1,110, which was 17.8 percent higher than Monday's estimated price of $ 942.3.

The German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), which acts as a regulator, announced on November 16 that it was suspending the certification process for the Russian export gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. The delay in the certification may last for six weeks. BNetzA requires Nord Stream 2 AG, the pipeline operator, should obtain a registration in one of the organizational and legal forms provided for by German laws. The company is currently registered in Switzerland.

As an alternative, it was proposed to setup a subsidiary structure of Nord Stream 2 AG, which will be responsible for the German section of the pipeline. The company, as it is believed, will become the full owner and operator of Nord Stream 2.