America now has a window of opportunity in which to intensify its gas diplomacy and support gas geoeconomics projects to help its partners lock in a decades-long hedge against Russian energy coercion in Europe. Doing so would accord with a longstanding, bipartisan tenet of U.S. foreign policy and national security strategy— ensuring the free flow of energy supplies to key markets and allies. Coupling gas geoeconomics projects with the new price and volume dynamics NS2 will bring to Europe would enable Washington to maximize Nord Stream-2’s commercial benefits to Europe while undermining Moscow’s ability to weaponize the pipeline’s gas flows.
Gabriel Collins and Anna Mikulska are members of the Center for Energy Studies team at the Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston. This article is derived from the study “ Gas Geoeconomics in Europe : Using Strategic Investments to Promote Market Liberalization, Counterbalance Russian Revanchism, and Enhance European Energy Security,” originally published in May 2018. The opinions and positions expressed in this analysis are exclusively the authors’ private views and do not represent the views of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Image: Worker at a welding machine prepare a steel cage for the concrete cover of the pipes for theNord Stream pipeline at a storage facility in Mukran on the Baltic sea island of Ruegen April 8, 2010. Nord Stream will have two pipelines, each with a capacity of 27.5 billion cubic meters a year, on the Baltic Sea floor stretching from Russia's Vyborg near the Finnish border to Greifswald on Germany's coast. The 1,220 km-long (758-mile) Nord Stream pipeline will eventually pump 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Western Europe, bypassing traditional transit nations. The first pipeline is planned to be completed in 2011. REUTERS/Christian Charisius (GERMANY - Tags: ENERGY)