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Nord Stream – chronicle of a political issue

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Status: 07/21/2022 06:43

Nord Stream transports Russian gas to Western Europe through undersea gas pipelines. In order to double the capacity, the Baltic Sea gas pipeline Nord Stream 1 should be extended. In the end, however, no gas flowed at all – which has happened so far.


The first feasibility studies are investigating where exactly the pipeline could pass through the Baltic Sea.

September 2005

In the presence of then-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a consortium of major energy companies signed an agreement for the construction of undersea pipelines through the Baltic Sea. Poland, Ukraine and Belarus see these plans as competition to their land lines and fear for revenues from transit fees.

March 2006

Schröder, who played a key role in steering the pipeline as head of government, will become chairman of the supervisory board of operating company Nord Stream AG just months after his chancellorship ends. He was heavily criticized for this.

April 2010

Start of construction of the first of the two strands of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, 1,224 kilometers long. Each of the two lines consists of 100,000 individual pipes, which are laid in the Baltic Sea using several vessels.

November 2011

The first gas passes through Nord Stream 1’s first pipeline from Vyborg in Russia to Lubmin in Germany near Greifswald (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania). Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev symbolically put the road into operation. Environmental groups warn of unpredictable consequences for the flora and fauna of the Baltic Sea.

October 2012

The second part of Nord Stream 1 is launched. The project, which costs a total of 7.4 billion euros, can now transport 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

September 2015

The partnership agreement for the Nord Stream 2 project is signed. Officially, the sole shareholder is the Russian energy group Gazprom. There are also several “supporters” – including German energy companies.

March 2018

Start of construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea. The pipeline should run largely parallel to Nord Stream 1 and be able to transport as much gas again. 100,000 individual pipes must be laid in two strands. The pipeline was originally scheduled to start in late 2019, but this has been repeatedly delayed due to lack of building permits.

December 2019

The construction works stop abruptly. The two Swiss pipelaying vessels are withdrawn due to US sanctions threats. The United States argues that Germany would make the pipeline dependent on Moscow. Russia accuses the United States of pursuing its own economic interests and wanting to sell its liquefied gas. Russian ships take over.

Sep 2021

According to Gazprom, Nord Stream 2 has been completed but is not yet operational. The construction costs amount to more than ten billion euros.

February 2022

In view of an impending war in Ukraine, the German government suspends Nord Stream 2. The official reason is that there is no approval from the responsible authorities, that is, the pipeline is not not certified. Shortly after, Russia begins its war of aggression against Ukraine.

July 2022

Since July 10, Nord Stream 1 has been in maintenance, so gas no longer flows through the pipes under the Baltic Sea. The Russian public company Gazprom had already reduced its deliveries to 40% and had justified it by a missing turbine. The federal government considers this argument to be exaggerated and fears that no more gas will pass through Nord Stream 1 after the maintenance. Deliveries will resume on July 21, but at a reduced level.

Source www.tagesschau.de

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