The World’s Most Controversial Gas Pipeline Is Nearing Its Endgame (Source Bloomberg)
Construction of the world’s most controversial natural gas pipeline is about to enter the endgame of an energy dispute that’s pitted the U.S. against Russia and some of its closest trans-Atlantic allies, satellite images show. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, built to increase the flow of Russian gas into Europe’s biggest economy, was thwarted five months ago after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed sanctions that forced workers to retreat. Now, after a three-month voyage circumnavigating the globe, the Akademik Cherskiy, the Russian pipe-laying vessel that’s a prime candidate to finish the project, has anchored off the German port where the remaining pipeline sections are waiting to be installed. Nord Stream 2 AG, the project operator owned by Russia’s Gazprom PJSC and financed by some of Europe’s biggest energy companies, confirmed that segments for the pipeline are stored at the port but declined to comment on whether the Akademik Cherskiy’s arrival meant that a restart of construction was imminent. The threat of U.S. sanctions is “unlawful discrimination against European companies,” Nord Stream 2 said Wednesday in an emailed statement in reply to questions.