Is Nord Stream 2 good or bad for Europe? Is the European Commission right to try to change the EU Gas Directive apparently to halt Nord Stream 2? On 28 November Energy Post held a conference in Brussels, sponsored by Nord Stream 2, and moderated by our EU correspondent Sonja van Renssen, where Gazprom’s pipeline project was debated. The video shows the highlights of the debate.
The panellists are: Michael Stoppard, Chief Strategist for Global Gas, IHS Energy; Paul Corcoran, Chief Financial Officer Nord Stream 2, Frank Umbach, Research Director at EUCERS (European Center for Energy and Resource Security) and Walter Boltz, independent advisor, former Vice-Chair ACER, former VP CEER (Council of European Energy Regulators) and former head of E-Control, the Austrian Regulatory Authority.
Michael Stoppard: “If you look at Nord Stream 2 as a re-routing, then, as a re-routing, it does not change the supply-demand balance and therefore does not change the overall price outcome. If you believe it adds adding additonal gas to the market, that means the price would go down.”
Frank Umbach: “Nord Stream 2 is not just a commercial project. It is quite clear that it has strong geopolitical motivations. The commercial motivations cannot be separated from the political ones.”
Paul Corcoran: “Given the fact that the internal energy market exists, that no one is forced to buy gas – the choice is up to the customer – Russian gas is a benefit to Europe. Russian reserves on the doorstep are a great benefit that Europe has.”
Walter Boltz: “Will Nord Stream 2 affect security of supply? Across Europe, probably not much. But regionally, yes. Is Nord Stream 2 good for Europe? Economically, it probably is. Politically, probably not.”