We must pay tribute: the new year 2021 in the European gas industry started, as, in principle, and expected, very fun and fervently.
First, at the very beginning of the new reporting period that had come so suddenly, the international certification and classification company Det Norske Veritas, which had previously been its "official partner", confirmed the termination of all certification activities for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
As DNV GL specifically emphasized, this statement was "made after the adoption of new legislation in the United States on January 1, according to which companies that provide gas pipeline testing, verification or certification services are subject to sanctions."
In general, hello America, New Year.
Nothing, in principle, unexpected.
And a little later, more pleasant news, so to speak, for the ear of the European layman came: in particular, it became known that, as evidenced by the data of the global positioning system of ships MarineTraffic, the Russian pipelayer "Akademik Chersky", whose movements are watched with such trepidation by the world media having stood for almost a month not far from the glorious city of Kaliningrad, he returned to the unfinished long-suffering "Danish" section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Recall that the Russian pipe-laying vessel in early December had already spent several days in the area of the Danish island of Bornholm, studying the situation at the site of the proposed future construction.
After that, she safely returned to Russian territorial waters and embarked on the roadstead of the Curonian Spit, which is not far from the same Kaliningrad.
And the pipe-laying barge Fortuna took over (and, by the way, has already completed it) to complete the construction of the "German" section of Nord Stream 2.
What can I say.
If, as was taught, to go from the particular to the general, then both "events" if they became a sudden general "sensation", then only from the point of view of the media community, which is bored on New Year's holidays.
Both the Det Norske Veritas certifier's “removal from the run” and the visit of “Akademik Chersky” to Danish waters are quite planned stories, and, obviously, preparations were being made for them.
So, for example, it is already clear that the withdrawal of the Norwegian DNV GL from the project is a rather unpleasant event, but far from fatal: firstly, it has nothing to do with the construction of Nord Stream 2 at all. And there is still time before the gas pipeline is put into operation.
And the issue with the certifier can be closed during this time - these are not some transcendental difficulties.
After all, European legislation and law enforcement practice does not at all require the participation of a European classifier in the project.
It may well be a Russian or a Chinese company, or any other company in general.
Even though it is Martian, EU legislation allows it.
So there is no doubt that this issue will be resolved one way or another this year.
In addition, the pipeline operator, Nord Stream 2 AG, was undoubtedly ready for such a development of the situation.
Let's put it bluntly, the operator had enough time for this pious, in general: it didn't start yesterday, and DNV GL stopped providing services to the ships serving Nord Stream 2 back in November 2020.
As for the exit to the Danish island of Bornholm by the Russian pipe-laying vessel Akademik Chersky, no one, in general, concealed that the Danish section of the gas pipeline construction would pass, apparently, both vessels available for operation: the Akademik Chersky ", and" Fortune ".
And in any case, the work will be carried out according to the schedule, the observance of which can somehow be influenced if only by some kind of another lockdown related to the coronavirus crisis or some other force majeure.
And even then it is unlikely.
All sorts of sanctions, even the “most terrible” ones, as promised by the outgoing American President Trump, will not be able to affect its implementation, on its implementation, as they say, in the “hardware” at this point in time almost nothing.
What conclusions can be drawn from all this?
First, in the light of recent events, primarily related to the Det Norske Veritas certifier, it became finally clear how the American "sanctions" or any other "resistance" to Nord Stream 2 is related to the "freeing of markets" for American LNG, about which is said so much, including by our, domestic media, and with which the United States is allegedly ready to flood Europe.
The correct answer is no way.
For it, this “resistance” (it would be more correct to say “pressure”, of course), does not in any way reduce the intensity of its “struggle” even against the background of the colossal problems that the oil and gas industry of the United States is experiencing now.
Despite the outrageous fact that America simply does not have the necessary volumes of LNG to replace Russian gas and is not foreseen in the foreseeable future.
The newly elected Joe Biden is not at all accidentally advising the Europeans to pay special attention to the “green energy”, sorry.
And what else can they do in this situation if they, in their continental Europe, first, under the influence of “Atlantic globalists” and local crazy radical “greens”, slapped their own (not the most bad, by the way) coal generation.
And now they are also finishing off nuclear generation (well, except for the French, who are traditionally much more pragmatic in such matters, despite all the seeming romanticism).
And who is to blame for the fact that everything is going so well for the Americans: if they still manage to squeeze Russian gas with the hands of the same Europeans in such a situation, without elegantly providing anything in return, then robbing the Old World will be completely comfortable and painless.
In such a situation, money will most likely go overseas, which may be a worthy payment for the post-war "Marshall Plan".
Actually, why not?
Second conclusion: all this is well understood not only in America and in Russia, but also in continental Europe itself.
Therefore, the current stage of the "confrontation" is expected to be quite dreary and frankly boring.
No, in the "hardware" - we have written about this many times - the Russians in Europe will finish building this gas pipeline.
And, apparently, in a fairly close time.
But this, we repeat once again, does not mean that with the end of the physical construction and even the launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the struggle going on around it will end at the same time.
And also other, which does no honor to either the Europeans or their overseas senior comrades, somewhat even indecent vanity.
And this entertainment, apparently, even after the physical completion of construction - for several more years.
However, these are not exactly our problems.
Our interest is to keep it purely technologically up to launch, so that there is at least a purely technical possibility of pumping volumes under the concluded firm contracts in the event of the seemingly more and more likely inglorious ending of the Ukrainian transportation route, and not because of the treachery of the powerful "Putin's Muscovites", but trite in connection with the dilapidation of the local native GTS.
And after this hour, let any “incorrectly certified” Nord Stream 2 become both Russian and especially the Germans really necessary.
This is the secret, in principle, of Punchinelle and everyone perfectly understands everything: the margin of safety sooner or later is exhausted even in the seemingly inexhaustible cyclopean Soviet projects.
And for the last couple of decades, the Ukrainian GTS has been holding on to the heroic, without exaggeration, work of ordinary Ukrainian gas workers: just imagine what efforts are needed to make this garbage somehow fuss if they are still standing there and working!
- Soviet compressor plants, for which parts have already ceased to be produced many years ago.
And her money, this most notorious "Ukrainian pipe", modernization requires so much that it is cheaper to build a couple more "Streams", at least "Northern", at least "Turkish".
And even if that kind of money were found, who would invest it in an irresponsible and unstable territory that does not even have a sovereign will to survive?
Or someone, especially after the story with the "Russian vaccine", doubts that after a corresponding call from the American embassy, if necessary, in Ukraine they will cry, inject drugs, count the lost income, but still screw the valve on their own GTS in an efficient manner ?!
If in doubt, drop it.
Screwed up like cute.
And in Europe, which really does not want to be robbed again, fortunately, so far there are relatively healthy forces that simply cannot fail to understand this, so that the fight there is going to be quite serious, albeit of quite "regional significance", in which we upon completion of construction, it is not at all a fact that it makes sense to intervene.
It makes sense for us to watch this colorful and epic battle between the "American and European allies" after the physical construction of Nord Stream 2 was completed: in the end, politically, this project ceased to be interesting to us as soon as the chimera of "Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok ”, and not only ours have invested in the project, so we can afford such a luxury and just watch.
And not to waste time: to engage in gasification in domestic markets (which, by the way, President Putin insisted especially on), to build a new gas pipeline to China, to think about expanding its own emerging presence in the LNG markets that are very promising due to their mobility.
In general, there is a lot to do.
For the time being, Europe can be put on pause - most likely, the Germans will cope with the situation, in the successful resolution of which they are more interested than we are, and without our help.
So she can wait for a while.
The author's point of view may not coincide with the position of the editorial board.
The author's point of view may not coincide with the position of the editorial board.