Though US President Joe Biden is determined to “radically alter American energy policy” and pledged a ban on new leasing, the controversy with Germany over Nord Stream 2 is unlikely to disappear.
The disputed Nord Stream 2 pipeline that runs between Germany and Russia through the Baltic Sea, for example, has been a favourite target of the Trump administration – but the sanctions imposed on it were also backed by the Democratic congress. Similarly, US pressure to increase its footprint on European gas markets through an import terminal for shipped LNG in Germany, will persist also once the new administration takes over.
Germany "not a hurry" to import US LNG
Start-up of the second Nord Stream leg would increase the pipeline’s overall transport capacity to nearly 99 bcm per year which is bound to greatly reduce Germany’s need for LNG imports.
Low prices for pipeline gas imports have rendered the economics of building a German LNG import plant less attractive. The Government’s maritime coordinator, Norbert Brackmann, said companies are moving forward with their investments, though "not in the greatest hurry."
Trump has been brand-marking both NordStream and TurkSteam as “the Kremlin's key tools” to exploit and expand European dependence on Russian energy supplies. “Get out now or risk the consequences,” he said when announcing the U.S. Department of State was updating public guidance for the ‘Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)’ authorities to include these projects.
Botas and Gazprom, meanwhile, are trying to calmly continue with works on the second leg of the controversial TurkStream pipeline. The Russia-Turkey interconnector through the Black Sea consists of two 930-kilometer offshore lines through the Black Sea as well as two separate onshore lines that are 142 and 70 kilometres long and extend to Greece and Bulgaria.