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‘Europe has to play its trump cards’: German energy giant says Russian gas vital for continent

‘Europe has to play its trump cards’: German energy giant says Russian gas vital for continent
Russian natural gas that will run through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is critical for Europe amid increasing demand and decreasing production in the region, according to CEO of Germany's energy company Wintershall, Mario Mehren.

“Demand in the EU is rising, but domestic production is declining – which in short means that the import demand is increasing,” Mehren said, as quoted by the company’s press-service.

“In 2030, for example, the EU will have to import around 400 billion cubic meters of natural gas. In order to meet this increasing import demand, we need reliable partners, especially in pipeline distance.

“Nord Stream 2, for example, will provide an additional capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas when it is completed. This is natural gas that Europe needs,” the CEO stressed.

Mehren noted that crucial importance of Russia as a major partner in European energy projects is set to increase in the future. The head of the German energy major also highlighted the importance of cooperation with Norway.

According to the CEO, natural gas is also making a significant contribution to Germany's and Europe's energy transition and to reducing CO2 emissions. The region won’t reportedly achieve its climate goals without natural gas as the most environmentally-friendly fossil fuel.

“Europe has the advantage of being able to use its geographical proximity and direct connection to the large energy reserves in Norway and Russia in pipeline distance,” Mehren said.

“Our well-established and reliable partnerships in particular with these two countries are essential for achieving the climate targets. Europe has to play its trump cards.”

The Nord Stream pipeline project, led by the subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom, is being implemented in cooperation with German energy firms Wintershall and Uniper, French multinational Engie, British-Dutch oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell and Austrian energy company OMV. The future pipeline, which is set to run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, is expected to double the existing pipeline’s capacity of 55 billion cubic meters annually.

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