German gas producer Wintershall Dea not giving up on Nord Stream 2
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Kassel-based gas producer Wintershall Dea says it has not felt any great pressure from the US government due to its involvement in the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline project, Bernd Freytag writes in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). "The criticism comes in waves, and there have not yet been any new concrete threats of sanctions," CEO Mario Mehren told the FAZ, adding that "we stand by our commitment." Over the past year, the US State Department had demanded explanations from all of the pipeline’s creditors, and that remained the case, he added. The US government has campaigned against the European-Russian pipeline project for months, arguing that it would make Europe too dependent on Russia. At the same time, it is also pushing for the sale of US liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Europe. The US government has reportedly intensified pressure on parties associated with the construction of the pipeline in recent days. Nord Stream 2 is being built by Russian industry giant Gazprom. Wintershall Dea is financing the project along with fellow German company Uniper, Shell, French group Engie and Austria’s OMV.
European and German policymakers had made it clear that the US should not interfere in European energy policy, Mehren said, adding that it was unclear whether the situation would improve under a Joe Biden administration. While Biden is interested in a renewal of transatlantic relations, Nord Stream 2 also has its critics in the US Senate. The CEO added, however that he had nothing against plans to build more liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Europe to import US gas.
Nord Stream 2 is to transport natural gas directly from Russia to Germany through twin pipelines underneath the Baltic Sea. Proponents argue the pipeline is a commercial investment that is key to Europe's supply security as domestic natural gas production declines.