The European Union approved amendments to the EU Gas Directive, which relate to the rules of operation of offshore sections of gas pipelines in the European Union, including the Russian-led Nord Stream 2.
Experts have previously noted that the amendments are intended to “complicate” the fate of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, but Germany has made considerable efforts to soften the amendments. At the same time, the majority of European experts note that the directive in this form would cause certain problems and uncertainty for investors. According to approved rules, the gas supplier cannot be a gas pipeline operator and must have capacity (50%) reserved for independent traders.
It is possible that the resumption of Turkmen gas purchases by Gazprom, which began on Monday, April 15, will help deal with the second issue related to the capacity of 50% to be reserved for independent traders. Turkmenistan is exactly such kind of traders. There is no need to prove it to the Europeans.
The total capacity of two strings of Nord Stream 2 is 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas. For Turkmenistan, it is not a problem to supply Russia with half of this capacity. Ashgabat ranks fourth in the world in terms of gas reserves, and until 2008, Turkmen gas supplies to Russia exceeded 40 billion cubic meters per year. It is not excluded that the start of Turkmen gas supplies to the Russian Federation was not chosen by chance.
Deliveries resumed after a commercial pause, which was taken by the Russian energy company Gazprom in early 2016. Turkmen natural gas is supplied under the existing under the current 25-year contract between Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the gas sector for the period of 2003-2028.