Shell urges US Congress to withhold Nord Stream 2 sanctions

The Trump administration says the project would strengthen Russia's economic grip on Europe.

    The project will double the annual capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline to 110 billion cubic metres [File: Anton Vaganov/Reuters]
    The project will double the annual capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline to 110 billion cubic metres [File: Anton Vaganov/Reuters]

    Royal Dutch Shell has asked the United States Congress not to enact sanctions against the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 subsea gas pipeline to Germany, Cederic Cremers, head of Shell's business in Russia said.

    A US Senate committee passed a bill in July to place sanctions on companies and individuals involved in building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.

    The administration of US President Donald Trump has said the project would strengthen Moscow's economic grip on Europe.

    "If the current legislation under consideration in the US Congress is passed, it will affect all of the companies involved with the project, including Shell. We therefore respectfully urge legislators not to enact these sanctions," Shell's Cremers said in emailed comments.

    Russian gas producer Gazprom leads the project while other participants, including Shell, Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, Austria's OMV and France's Engie, provide financial support.

    OMV has also publicly voiced its support for Nord Stream 2.

    The project will double the annual capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline to 110 billion cubic metres and account for more than half of Russia's piped gas exports to Europe, allowing it to bypass Ukraine, currently its main transit route.

    In the wake of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, its relations with Ukraine have soured and the European Commission has stepped up calls for member states to reduce their reliance on Russian energy imports.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency