Geopolitics of Energy: Nord Stream 2
On Thursday October 21st, the Activities Committee will host its second physical event of the academic year!
Nord Stream 2 is a $12 billion gas pipeline project bringing Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany. Russia is already responsible for 40% of the EU’s total gas supply, and this new project is supposed to increase that amount by 55 billion cubic meters per year. The pipeline took five years to build and as of September 2021 it has been completed, stretching a total of 1.2000 kilometres. Nord Stream 2 will accompany an already existing pipeline, Nord Stream 1, and double the gas transit from Russia to Western Europe.
Unfortunately, some geopolitical implications come with the completion and use of Nord Stream 2. It Increases the EU’s dependence on Russia and Russian gas, perhaps even to dangerous levels as Russia has the ability to interfere with the energy provision of member states. The gas lever could be used as a form of pressure or even to blackmail individual countries by turning off the gas supply. This growing dependence on Russia could weaken the geopolitical position of the European Union. Moreover, Ukraine is bypassed by both Nord Stream pipelines, losing billions of dollars in transit fees which it previously received when the main Russian pipeline to Europe crossed its territory. Ukraine could also lose its influence over Western Europe as its pipelines would become obsolete.
There’s thus more to this gas pipeline than seemingly meets the eye. Moreover, we are pleased to announce that Irina Patrahau who works at the HCSS will be one of the speakers for this event.
Irina Patrahau is a Strategic Analyst at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS). Irina obtained her BSc degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations from Leiden University, and her MSc degree in Political Economy from University of Amsterdam. Her primary research interest relates to the geopolitical and geo-economic aspects of energy relations and natural resources. In previous research projects she focused on the European import dependency on Chinese critical raw materials and renewable energy technologies, as well as European dependency on Russian natural gas.
Furthermore, we are happy to announce that Can Ögütcü who works at NATO SHAPE is joining us as our second speaker.
Mr. Can Ögütcü is the lead analyst for energy security at NATO SHAPE. Previously he worked for the International Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels on energy investment climate reviews and for Rothschild & Co. in Paris on project financing for energy infrastructure in CEE and CIS countries.
If you’re interested and want to learn more about the background and wider context of this geopolitical issue, make sure to get your ticket! We hope to welcome you at Wijnhaven room 3.60 for our event on Nord Stream 2 from 20:00 until 21:00.
At last, if you’re unable to come to our physical event make sure to click on the following Zoom link once the event starts at 8 PM on the 21st to watch it live from the comfort of your own home!