EU may leave Nord Stream-2 underutilized?

The Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline may remain underutilized for at least first several years of operations due to new amendments to the European Union gas directive, the Kommersant daily reported.

The amendments are aimed at extending the gas directive on the Nord Stream-2 project. This means that the pipeline should have an operator independent of Russian gas giant Gazprom, and third parties should receive access to the capacities. 

If creation of an independent operator is realizable, then access of third parties cannot be organized, as only Gazprom can supply gas to the Russian end of the pipeline as the only company that has right for exports. 

In this case, similarly to the OPAL, the European Commission may ban Gazprom from using the Nord Stream-2 by more than half, leaving the other half to potential 'third parties.'

Under the amendments, Germany as an EU county where the gas pipeline ends can sign an intergovernmental agreement with Russia on exclusion from the directive, the daily said. This would require the E.U.’s permission for talks and for signing such agreement. The EU is to make the decision in 90 days and has a right to request additional information thus lingering the process, Kommersant wrote.

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