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Nord Stream: A Lesson In Energy Dependence

Could gas be the decider in Russia-Ukraine tensions?

Last Section of Line 2 Lowered onto the Seafloor. In the early morning of April 18, 2012, pipe number 99,953, the last pipe of Line 2, was welded onto pipeline, which was lowered onto the seabed off the coast of Gotland, Sweden by the Castoro Sei laybarge.

The situation remains tense along Ukraine’s border due to Russia’s aggressive maneuvers. While the current tensions may be about land and territory, the deciding factor in the escalation or de-escalation of the conflict could well be something entirely different – gas.

Russia has the world's largest natural gas reserves. President Putin is well aware of the trump card he holds. Russia meets close to 40% of Europe’s natural gas demand each year, around 100 billion cubic meters (bcm).

Decreasing gas production, rising energy needs, phasing out of nuclear power, and vagaries of weather affecting green energy supplies mean that Europe is becoming increasingly dependent on gas imports. Russia is more than willing to meet the demand.

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