OPAL Pipeline To Connect To Baltic Sea

Economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and EU in response to Crimea’s annexation from Ukraine are beginning to ripple through the energy industry. The South Stream pipeline that would bring Russian gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine was scheduled to start up in 2015. However, the pipeline now faces legal problems as companies involved in the construction find some of their major shareholders on the sanctions list. Additionally, “without EU backing, the six countries [South Stream would traverse] face the choice of carrying on with the South Stream project, and face procedures of infringement of EU law, or being sued by Russia for nor delivering on signed contracts.” [EurActiv]

The US Department of Energy gave the Jordan Cove Energy Project in Coos Bay, Oregon conditional approval to export LNG to non-FTA countries. The project still requires FERC approval, along with numerous additional federal and state permits. “Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore, who once urged DOE to go slow on export approvals, immediately threw his support behind Monday’s announcement. His office issued a statement saying that ‘the approval was exactly what Coos Bay, North Bend and America need: new jobs and new investment, while factoring in a changed geopolitical landscape through a case-by-case process.’” [The Oregonian]

Germany needs to consider the role natural gas will play in the country’s energy mix as policies designed to phase out nuclear power, cut coal consumption and reduce carbon emissions progress, according to a study by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. “Although gas is a low-carbon fossil fuel, which could replace hard coal and lignite in power generation to reduce emissions, Dickel said security of supply concerns due to its import dependence on Russia and other neighboring countries, coupled with low carbon permit prices, have halted the switch from coal to gas for power generation.” [Platts]