Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG has dismissed its entire staff and is considering next financial steps, amid media reports that it is filing for bankruptcy. The moves follow last week’s decision by Germany to stop certification of the 55-billion cu m/year natural gas pipeline and the reimposition of US sanctions on the project (OGJ Online, Feb. 22, 2022).
The company, on its website, said it “cannot confirm the media reports that Nord Stream 2 has filed for bankruptcy. The company only informed the local authorities that the company had to terminate contracts with employees following the recent geopolitical developments leading to the imposition of US sanctions on the company,” as of Mar. 2.
Except for the statement, the company’s website has been shut down “due to serious and continuous attacks from outside,” it said, noting that the company’s mobile and fixed network lines are not reachable for the time being.
Nord Stream 2 is mechanically complete and filled with gas but was awaiting certification to begin deliveries.
Rystad senior analyst Kaushal Ramesh had remarked in the wake of certification suspension that “the project can now be considered effectively shelved, as can Europe’s and Asia’s hopes of sub-$20/MMbtu prices in the foreseeable future.”
Prices may stay high, but Kateryna Filippenko, Wood Mackenzie’s principal analyst for European gas research, noted that Europe’s supply situation has improved. “From record lows at the start of winter, storage levels have now re-entered their 5-year range, albeit on the lower side,” she said, adding that inventories “are on track to be in a more comfortable position by the end of March.”
Both analysts’ remarks were made after German decertification, but before Russia invaded Ukraine.
Nord Stream 2 AG, wholly owned by PJSC Gazprom, had 106 employees.
[UPDATED to include company's statements]