Energy for Europe: A Reliable Partnership
There is no alternative to the energy partnership between Europe and Russia
Today, Mr. Schroeder is quite often criticized in the German press. People say he is too close and too friendly to the Russians, that he is supporting Nord Stream too much. Perhaps in a short time, people will understand that there is no alternative to the energy partnership, and no alternative to a close Russian-European relationship if we want to guarantee peace and stability on our continent — Friedbert Pfluger, Managing Partner, Pflüger International GmbH.
There is a need for additional energy supplies
On the one hand, it is becoming absolutely clear that guaranteed supplies of additional volumes of natural gas – not only to Germany, but to the whole of Europe – is taking on even greater importance. Supplies from the Netherlands are reducing, and will continue to do so. For Germany, these supplies have played a particularly important role — Gerhard Schroeder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Nord Stream 2 AG.
It’s quite clear now that we have declining Dutch production, <...> so our winter needs are going to be very much higher. This means that the capacities of all sources of supply – including Ukraine – are highly likely to continue to be needed, <...> and increasingly so as we go through the 2020s — Simon Blakey, Managing Director, SAB Global Energy.
Arguments against Nord Stream 2 are irrational
The Chancellor has just reiterated the market need for the project, the question of increasing the security of supply by additional infrastructure, and the question of competitiveness of the European gas market. With the US being a fundamentally market-led economy, these types of arguments were put forward. The environmental footprint of Nord Stream was also reiterated, and the fact that Nord Stream 2 is much better. <...> The counter-arguments I experienced in discussions involved moving it from the economic to a political plane, from a rational to an emotional level of discussion — Klaus Schäfer, Chief Executive Officer, Uniper.
Growth in supplies is increasing competition on the international gas market
We shouldn’t demonize the European Union institutions around this. We don’t think we should demonize the United States government either. It’s a complex set of issues that each of these institutions face. And I think the important thing to communicate from Europe, the European gas industry’s point of view, and the European gas customers’ point of view, is that new projects such as Nord Stream 2 that come into the market are coming into a world that is very different from the world as it looked 10 years ago. There is significantly more competition. This is really a very big difference. Most customers in Europe now – the vast majority – are able to buy gas in highly liquid, highly competitive markets. The physical location at which gas arrives, or the identity of the supplier matter very much less in today’s configuration of the market than they did 10 or 15 years ago — Simon Blakey, Managing Director, SAB Global Energy.
All gas that comes to Europe is an advantage for Europe. We are open in Europe to gas from Azerbaijan. <...> We are open to Norwegian gas, to LNG, to Russian gas. Everyone who sends new gas in whatever way contributes to the liquidity of the market. And because there is no destination clause, gas can be traded freely. This enhances competition in Europe, and that is good news for households and industry — Friedbert Pfluger, Managing Partner, Pflüger International GmbH.
The European Commission’s opposition to Nord Stream 2
Cooperation between the European Union, Germany and Russia forms a very important partnership, and it will remain this way in the future. <...> Europe has no particular alternative – it is impossible to meet demand from other sources. <...> That makes Brussels’ resistance – which we feel with regards to this project – all the more striking — Gerhard Schroeder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Nord Stream 2 AG.
Amendments to the EU’s energy legislation are not helping to increase competition on the gas market
The proposed amendment is surprising in many ways, above all because it is proposed under the flag of an objective to increase competition in the European gas market. I am saying it’s surprising, because all observers I have come across agree that the European gas market, which has been liberalized, is working very well, and improving all the time, thanks to the good measures taken already by the European Commission and Parliament in deregulating it. <...> The amendment proposes taking the four principles of liberalization, third-party access, unbundling, and transparency and tarification to the import pipelines – not all the import pipelines, but just those which enter the union by sea. <...> These four principles will not change anything. They won’t increase competition, since third-party access has no impact when you’re dealing with third-party countries that themselves have export monopolies — Annette Berkhahn Blyhammar, Senior Advisor Energy & Utilities,Arthur D. Little Stockholm.
I think we are headed in the wrong direction with regard to sanctions, because there is an ever-increasing spiral of more sanctions. <...> If Europe, the US and other nations had become aligned in terms of sanctions as a necessary instrument in some cases, it may be one topic. But if a single nation like the US imposes sanctions across borders and boundaries without aligning them with their allies, then we are on the wrong track — Klaus Schäfer, Chief Executive Officer, Uniper.
Proving the necessity of additional gas supplies
We want to demonstrate to the European public the necessity of additional supplies. We must have reasonable costs, reasonable quality, and reliable cooperation in order to be confident of a reliable supply in the requisite volumes — Gerhard Schroeder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Nord Stream 2 AG.
The adoption of measures to guarantee investments
Firms and companies which are participating in this project and embarking on and agreeing to investments which carry specific risks do not understand the gravity of the situation. We must provide specific guarantees so that when making investments, they are confident that their business operations will be supported — Gerhard Schroeder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Nord Stream 2 AG.
The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS