- Nord Stream 2 was now 98% complete, with one 27.5 Bcm/year string already finished and the remaining 2% of work to be carried out on the second 27.5 Bcm/year string
- We expect the construction work to be finished by the end of August
With the 1st string completed in June, Warnig's comments suggest that that line could become operational by September at the latest.
There have been questions over which entity would certify Nord Stream 2 as complete after Norway-based DNV GL in January said it would no longer provide pipeline integrity verification services for the pipeline due to the threat of US sanctions.
- The US sanction threats have made our work much more difficult in every respect, and this also applies to certification
- But we are working on solutions and are sure we will find a way. In the end, we will have a pipeline that meets all certification requirements and international industry standards
The US State Department said that applying those sanctions would «negatively impact US relations with Germany, the EU, and other European allies and partners».
However, both the US and Germany have since said they would look to come up with proposals that would mitigate the impact of Nord Stream 2 once it is operational, particularly with regard to Ukraine.
Kyiv has repeatedly said that Nord Stream 2 is an existential threat to Ukraine as Russia would no longer rely on its western neighbor for gas transit to Europe.
Warnig declined to speculate on what concessions could be appropriate in order for the US to accept Nord Stream 2 coming online.
But, he said, he was certain Ukraine would continue to play a role in Russian gas transit.
Russia's Gazprom has agreed to transit 40 Bcm/year of Russian gas via Ukraine from 2021 until 2024 -- down from a recent peak of 94 Bcm in 2017 -- as it looks to divert gas away from Ukraine into Nord Stream 2.
- As early as May 2015, Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted that gas transit through Ukraine must be permanently secured even after the completion of Nord Stream 2
- The transit of Russian gas through Ukraine will continue to be an integral part of the gas transport from Russia to Europe after 2024
- I do not have the slightest doubt about that
- I assume that this already has been been raised in government talks between the German government and Russia
- The topic will certainly also be part of the talks between Chancellor Merkel and US President Biden
Warnig also said Nord Stream 2 could carry hydrogen in the future and would be ready to do so within 10 years.
Promising preliminary tests have already been carried out
- Material tests are still underway, although the fact that the testing and certification companies are holding back due to the threat of sanctions is proving to be a challenge
- All in all, it seems very realistic that in 10 years at the latest we will be able to blend hydrogen into one or both lines and transport it