The following overview and videos were from an event held by The Jamestown Foundation on November 15, 2017.
About the Event:
The Gazprom-led Nord Stream Two gas pipeline project supported by Russia, Germany and a consortium of five Western European companies is slated to be completed by the year 2019. Parallel to the existing Nord Stream One pipeline on the Baltic seabed, Nord Stream Two would double the system’s total capacity to 110 billion cubic meters (bcm) annually, all earmarked for direct delivery to Germany. This volume will constitute 80 percent of all Russian gas supplies to Europe, channeled through a single transit route. The Nord Stream project would bypass a number of key U.S. allies in Central-Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, potentially eliminating Ukraine as a major transit route to Europe.
The project presents a dilemma for the European Union, which will have to find a consensus among its members to protect its energy security and anti-monopoly policies. It would also undermine the expansion of U.S. LNG supplies to Europe, if Gazprom starts dumping gas prices to undercut the budding spot market and unfairly compete with American LNG companies.
The expert speakers convened for “Nord Stream and European Energy Security” provide a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the Russian objectives, European responses, and American policies related to this large project.
On Wednesday, November 15, The Jamestown Foundation held an event on “Nord Stream and European Energy Security.” The multi-panel discussion featured former U.S. government officials and energy experts from both sides of the Atlantic. The event kicked off with a panel on “Russian Geopolitical Objectives vs. European Gas Supply Diversification” and included former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Carpenter, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza, former Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried, as well as the renowned energy and economics expert Anders Åslund. The speakers focused on the threat the Nord Stream pipeline expansion (Nord Stream II) will pose to transatlantic unity as well as Ukraine’s economy, which heavily relies on transit fees from Russian natural gas being shipped to Europe. In addition, they detailed how U.S. sanctions as well as European legislation will affect the prospects for Nord Stream II to be actually built. The first panel was followed by a keynote address by Amos Hochstein, the former State Department Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs. Ambassador Hochstein stressed that Nord Stream II should not be looked at as competition for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments to Europe. Rather, he pointed out, U.S. LNG exports are hampered by the fact that the European continent lacks sufficient LNG infrastructure and facilities in the places where it is most needed—the East. Nord Stream II poses a threat because it will further undermine the economic rationale for building more of those facilities in Central Eastern Europe. The final panel included regional experts Vladimir Socor, Margarita Assenova and Ambassador Keith Smith. The speakers noted that Nord Stream II needs to be looked at in conjunction with Russia’s plans to build Turk Stream in the South, thus completing the bypassing of Ukraine’s pipeline network, undermining the Southern Gas Corridor spearheaded by Azerbaijan, as well as further increasing Moscow’s leverage over Southeastern Europe. The speakers noted that although the EU and its eastern members have taken important steps in improving their energy security situation, Nord Stream II threatens to use European pipeline networks and legislation against the EU to undermine these gains.
Read more about the event here
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