Posted by: russiaoilandgas | July 26, 2007

Baltic Nations and Poland Set to Miss Out on Nord Stream

Nord Stream Gazprom Baltic Poland Lithuania Latvia Estonia German Gas PipelineGazprom controlled natural gas pipeline company Nord Stream has rejected calls from the Baltic counties and Poland to take the project along a land route and instead will stick to its original plan to lay the pipeline on the bed of the Baltic, YLE Uutiset reported today.

Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have all sited environmental concerns in explaining their preference for a land route for the Nord Stream gas pipeline.  According to YLE Uutiset, they are planning to solicit help from the EU to get the route changed.

Current plans call for the pipeline to run from Russian territory at the eastern end of the Gulf of Finland, along the sea bed to Germany, but YLE have reported that Estonia’s Deputy Environment Minister, Siim-Valmar Kiisler, has sent the EU Commission a letter requesting funding for a study of an alternative pipeline route that would avoid the impact the Nord Stream project would have on the Baltic Sea environment.

However, resident Oil and Gas Eurasia expert, Yagmur Kurbanov, suggests another possible reason for the aforementioned countries’ preference for a land based route.  He argues that if Nord Stream was routed through Estonia, Latvia Lithuania and Poland, these countries would be able to assert some de facto control over the gas supply, as well as collect transit fees for the route through their territories.

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