Germany mulls expropriating Nord Stream 2 pipeline

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Germany mulls expropriating Nord Stream 2 pipeline

FILE PHOTO pipes at the landfall facilities of the Nord Stream 2'' gas pipeline in Lubmin

BERLIN Reuters -- The German government is considering converting parts of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into a connection for a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Baltic Sea coast.

According to the magazine Der Spiegel, the German economy ministry is considering expropriating the part of the pipeline system on German territory and cutting it off from the rest of the pipeline. The report did not cite any sources.

If Germany took such steps, Russia said it would be a matter for lawyers.

Russian gas giant Gazprom completed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, designed to double the flow of Russian gas directly to Germany, at the end of last year, but it has yet to be used. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that it would not go into operation after relations with Moscow broke down ahead of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Flows of natural gas from Russia have been declining for weeks, and Germany is looking for emergency landing locations for liquefied natural gas bought on the world spot market because of the risk of economic damaging energy shortages.

Germany has four specialised carriers, so-called FSRUs, to regasify LNG at sea and feed it into onshore pipeline systems.

A Baltic Sea landing site to complement those at Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuettel in the North Sea would expand capacity.

Eastern and southern Germany are particularly dependent on Russian pipeline gas and would benefit from the diversification, Spiegel said.

The onshore pipelines that would have carried Nord Stream 2 gas could be repurposed.