The Nord Stream 2 project does not bring a new source to the European energy market and does not have the flexibility provided by the transit through Ukraine, through the storage capacities that this state has. The amount of natural gas that can be transported through Nord Stream 2 is constant and cannot be correlated with demand variations, such as peak consumption in winter, said EFOR expert Otilia Nuțu, according to financialintelligence.ro.
In order to make this route more flexible, Germany would have to build its own storage capacity, which would require very expensive investments, and then the selling price of gas would include storage tariffs. The immediate consequence of the project, however, is that it “punishes” Ukraine by depriving it of the transit tariffs that were paid until now.
“The European partners in the Nord Stream 2 project only granted loans, which they would recover from the transport tariffs. Some of these companies in the European Union have other businesses with Gazprom. We should probably look here to see the economic benefits of supporting the project. Some of those partners have begun to think that they should give up those loans, as there is a risk that the pipeline will not be completed, in which case they will not recover them. This does not mean that the other businesses they have with Gazprom have not already covered the costs of their involvement in Nord Stream 2. We are talking about the exchange of assets between OMV and Gazprom, for example, and its benefits,” she said.
In addition, Ukraine will lose $3 billion annually from the collection of estimated transit fees. However, Nord Stream 2 did not appear with a direct intention to penalize this state, from Germany. In fact, the project was promoted with a very strong lobby of the European partners involved, and in such a situation the governments of the democratic states must respond quickly to pressures from important actors.
”Nord Stream 2 will divide Europe. It was very difficult for the European Union to build a common energy policy, and Gazprom tended to abuse a dominant position, playing a different game with each Member State. This aspect is also reflected in the investigations undertaken in recent years by the Directorate-General for Competition (e.n. within the European Commission). It tried to divide the Union, because Europe as a whole has a relatively equal bargaining power with the Russian company, which is no longer the case if each Member State negotiates separately. It is a matter of balance of power, given the fact that Gazprom applies this division policy, which affects the security of the European Union,” added Otilia Nuțu.