Potential Nord Stream 2 pipelayer headed for Northern European waters

Potential Nord Stream 2 pipelayer headed for Northern European waters

A Russian pipelaying vessel expected to complete the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is now headed for Northern European waters, S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow showed Friday.

The Akademik Cherskiy has been widely billed as a replacement for the Allseas' vessels that laid the majority of the 55 Bcm/year line before US sanctions in December last year forced the Swiss company to halt work.

Just 160 km of Nord Stream 2 is left to lay in Danish waters out of the total 2,460 km length.

The Akademik Cherskiy -- which has the dynamic positioning capabilities requested by the Danish license to operate -- left the port of Nakhodka in eastern Russia in early February.

It has since travelled through Southeast Asia and around the Cape of Good Hope before moving northward up Africa's western coast and now reaching the waters off northern Spain.

The Nord Stream 2 operating company, asked by Platts to confirm whether the Akademik Cherskiy was the vessel earmarked to complete the pipeline, said only that it was "actively looking for solutions" to finish the pipelaying work.

"All other works like the completion of landfalls and offshore works for stabilizing the pipeline continue as planned," a spokesman for Nord Stream 2 said Friday.

"We and the companies supporting our project are convinced that the soonest possible commissioning of the pipeline is in the interest of Europe's energy security," he added.