Nord Stream 2 route to go round Denmark?
Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak expects the Nord Stream 2 project to be implemented in the applied variant despite the delay with Denmark’s issue of permit.
"The project is being implemented, we are expecting the decision of the Kingdom of Denmark on issuance of permit," the minister said at a session of the Russian Energy Week.
"Clearly, there are other options in case of the lack of such a permission as well, the only thing is that the project will be slightly more expensive and will take longer to be implemented," TASS cited him as saying.
At the same time, Novak noted that the Russian side still expects the project to be implemented in the route, on which permission request was applied. "We see no grounds for failing to issue such a permission," he added.
A leading analyst of the National Energy Security Fund, a lecturer at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Igor Yushkov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the most likely scenario is still building a pipeline along the Danish waters. “It’s quite difficult to find a bypass route, because there is Poland in the south - the main opponent of Nord Stream 2. I think Novak’s words are addressed primarily to foreign investors as an attempt to reassure them and show that Russia will build this pipeline anyway,” he said.
“For the competing project BalticPipe, the pipeline from Norway to Poland, permission was issued by Denmark as soon as possible. I think Gazprom would rather sue Denmark than search for alternative routes. The Germans have already said the Danes will be charged all damages and legal costs. Copenhagen will be charged with delaying paperwork for political reasons," Igor Yushkov stressed, adding that the deadline for Denmark's response ends in October.
The executive vice-president of NewTech Services, professor of the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Valery Bessel, expressed confidence that the Nord Stream-2 will be built and put into operation in any case. "The European Union can be supplied hydrocarbon resources only from the Gulf countries and Russia. The European Union would gladly develop hydrocarbon supplies from Iran, but Iran is under strict sanctions. Germany, France, Holland, Italy need cheap energy, because they will push through the implementation of projects such as Nord Stream 2. As for Denmark, unfortunately, it belongs to the countries of ecological tourism, its economy is insignificant. It will not be able to stop the project - Copenhagen may not allow laying the pipeline in its territorial waters, 12 miles around the coast, but it does not have the right to do so in the zone of economic interest, according to the UN convention," he said.
"And now Denmark is faced with a choice: either the current route will be build, or the pipeline will go along its zone of economic interests - but then Copenhagen will be exposed to the most serious costs for the losses in laying the pipeline," Valery Bessel emphasized.