The end of 2019 had been a rough time for the Nord Stream 2 project company (ener|gate Gasmarkt 12/19). The US President Donald Trump signed the sanction bill “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEEESA)” that threatens all persons and companies with sanctions that may provide pipe-laying vessels for work at a depth of more than 100 foot (30 metres) to the Nord Stream 2 project company (and to Turk Stream). As a consequence, Allseas, the company engaged for the pipe-laying work, withdrew the two vessels immediately and stopped work on Nord Stream 2. Also, in December an amendment of the German Energy Law came into force that transposed a change of the EU Gas Directive into German national law. Under the amended European and national legal framework, all pipelines connecting third countries with EU member states are under the jurisdiction of EU regulated network access within the territorial waters of the Member States. For pipelines completed before May 23, 2019 a derogation with a maximum duration of 20 years is possible.
Time passed, and Nord Stream 2 actively tried to overcome the new obstacles for finishing work on the pipeline. The company has a strong track record in overcoming obstacles skilfully over the whole project timeline. Akademik Cherskiy, a Russian vessel that is able to lay pipes in deep waters is on its way from the Far East to Europe. At the end of April, the ship was sighted in the North Sea off Denmark. Furthermore, Nord Stream 2 applied to BNetzA for a derogation from the rules of Third Energy Package regulation arguing that commercially the pipeline was completed before May 23, 2019. ener|gate Gasmarkt talked to Paul Corcoran, Nord Stream 2’s CFO, about the sanctions, the finishing of pipelaying work, and why Nord Stream 2 thinks a derogation from regulation is justified for Nord Stream 2. BNetzA has to decide on the application by May 24.