Recently, a Russian-based ship with the ability to complete all of the pipelaying work for the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project departed a port in Germany before then entering waters located in Denmark, which is where the final section of the pipeline, which many have declared to be controversial, still has yet to be officially completed.
Reports from Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data states that the Russian ship Fortuna officially departed from Germany’s Mukran port, which is located on the Baltic Sea, prior to moving into territorial waters in Denmark.
This comes days after the Danish Energy Agency permitted Nord Stream 2 AG to utilize pipelaying ships equipped with anchors to take part in constructing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Previously, the agency had permitted self-positioning DP pipelaying ships in the construction permit for the Nord Stream ii pipeline.
Thanks to the assistance of an anchored Russian ship, Gazprom, the Russian gas company leading the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, would be able to complete the actual construction within Danish waters. Furthermore, it’s important to note that Western technology and ship providers were ultimately forced to withdraw from the project back in December 2019 due to sanctions imposed on the Nord Stream 2 project by the United States. Once these sanctions were officially announced, Allseas, an offshore subsea and pipelaying construction company based in Switzerland, made the decision to immediately suspend all pipelaying activities related to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Officials in Russia have stated that firms from their country will be able to complete the Nord Stream ii project without having to rely on the assistance of any foreign partners. On the other hand, lawmakers in the United States have reportedly been seeking additional sanctions on the project due to the fact that they view it as something that undermines the overall energy security of the whole of the European continent by permitting Gazprom to have an additional pipeline to ship natural gas to European markets.
The sanctions imposed on the Nord Stream ii pipeline by the United States have divided Europe. For instance, Germany has criticized interference from the country in Europe’s energy projects and policies, as they view all of the economic benefits of the actual projects. Meanwhile, the United States, most notably President Donald Trump, has threatened to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 project, as well as Germany itself, due to its support for the project. Trump had been quoted as stating the following during a White House meeting with Polish president Andrzej Duda:
“We’re protecting Germany from Russia, and Russia is getting billions and billions of dollars in money from Germany.”
Additional European companies who have become the threats of targets of sanctions from the United States due to their support of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project include Shell, OMV (Austria), Wintershall (Germany), Uniper (Germany), and Engie (France).
The argument from the United States is that expanding the existing Nord Stream 2 pipeline would deepen the dependence on both Germany and Europe on gas from Russia when they should be reducing it and diversifying it into alternative sources, while the argument from Germany is that there will always be a market for any gas as long as the price is acceptable.