German regulator pauses certification of Nord Stream 2 pipeline

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Germany’s network regulator said on Tuesday that it has halted certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline due to a problem with the company’s licenses under German law. Associated Press report,

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why it matters: The stoppage throws a wrench in the approval process of an already controversial pipeline – which would carry Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to Europe – and has caused a rise in regional gas prices.

Running the news: “After a thorough examination of the documentation, the Bundesnetzentur concluded that it would be possible to certify an operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline only if that operator was legally arranged under German law,” the regulator said in a statement, per ap.

  • News of the break triggered growth in natural gas markets in Europe, including the UK, where Natural gas futures rise over 9 per cent, According to New York Times,
  • The certification process will be halted until “key assets and human resources are transferred to the subsidiary,” per AP.

big picture: Both the US and Ukraine have opposed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was completed this year but has not yet become operational.

  • The pipeline is owned by Russian-controlled gas company Gazprom, with investments from several European countries.
  • President Biden earlier this year waived sanctions on firms involved in the pipeline, which stalled its progress in 2019, frustrating Germany and the European Union, Nerdshala Jonathan Swann reports.
  • Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reached a deal in July, in an attempt to ease fears of members of Congress and Eastern European countries over Russia potentially using the pipeline against Ukraine.
  • According to the agreement, the US and Germany will intervene if Russia tries to “use energy as a weapon”, establish a “green fund” to help Ukraine modernize its energy sector, and It tries to ensure that Russia continues to pay Ukraine about $3 billion. Gas transit fee annually.

go in: Russia’s Gazprom says Nord Stream 2 pipeline is complete

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