Why the World Worries About Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

SourceWashington Post
SectorOil & Gas

A natural gas pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea from Russia to the German coast is shaking up geopolitics. Nord Stream 2, as it’s called, has fueled worries in the U.S. and beyond that the Kremlin’s leverage over Europe and its energy market will increase once the twin pipeline is operational.

Championed by outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it’s headed for completion this year after the U.S. and Germany reached a deal on the project effectively ending a longstanding rift over German gas purchases from Russia.

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1. What is Nord Stream 2?

It’s a 1,230-kilometer (764-mile) pipeline that will double the capacity of the existing undersea route from Russian gas fields to Europe — the original Nord Stream — which opened in 2011 and can handle 55 billion cubic meters per year. Russia’s Gazprom PJSC owns the project operator, with Royal Dutch Shell Plc and four other investors contributing half of the 9.5 billion-euro ($11.2 billion) cost.

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