• US threatens sanctions against companies involved in Nord Stream 2 and Turkstream pipelines

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Investors in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as well as a branch of the Turkstream pipeline, may be subject to US sanctions through the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said. Sanctions have already had some effect on the Nord Stream 2 project, with construction being suspended last December after a defence policy bill that contained sanctions made Allseas, the Swiss-Dutch subsea construction firm, withdraw from the project. Gazprom, which is leading Nord Stream 2, is now arranging to have Russian-owned vessels complete the remaining 160 km of the project, but the prospect of new sanctions may deter non-Russian investors OMV, Uniper, Wintershall, Shell and Engie from supporting its completion. So far, though, this does not appear to be likely, with Nord Stream spokesperson Steffen Hartmann saying that the new sanctions “reflect a clear disregard for the interests of European households and industries, who will pay billions more for gas if this pipeline is not built”. Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described the potential sanctions as “the use of political pressure for unfair competition”, and it is difficult not to agree, seeing as though the US regards Europe as a potential growth market for the export of LNG.