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  • Writer's pictureMaya Ardon

Nordstream Explained

Written By: Maya Ardon

Edited By: Vanessa Lu Langley

Nord Stream 1 is a pipeline system that transports natural gas from Russia to Germany and uses onshore couplings to existing networks of those countries (Balashova et al., 2008). The project aims to provide a secure energy supply for Europe (Nord Stream), and provides more than a third of Germany’s natural gas imports (Dean, 2022). Europe receives around 40% of its imports from Russia through this project and still relies on it amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Dean, 2022).

Nord Stream 2 is a gas pipeline project that runs alongside the already-operational Nord Stream 1, and its purpose is to double the amount of gas being funneled through the Baltics (Stevens, 2019); about 55 billion cubic meters of gas would be delivered through the pipeline (Zimmermann, 2022). In principle, Germany relies on this gas as a transitional fuel in its shift to the clean energy transition, and this pipeline would help the country obtain raw materials for relatively cheap while covering its energy needs (Zimmermann, 2022). The pipeline is completed, but not yet operational as it awaits certification from German authorities to begin delivering gas (Zimmermann, 2022). While Nord Stream intends to provide Europe with a sustainable gas supply and Russia with access to the European market (Stevens, 2019), it has become a point of focus amidst the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Ukraine’s concerns of making Nord Stream 2 operational is grounded in concern for national security; President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed that the pipeline could be used as a “dangerous geopolitical weapon” by Russia (Zimmermann, 2022). While plans to put Nord Stream 2 into action have been suspended with the conflict, similar plans have not been mobilized for Nord Stream 1 as the two are separate projects.


Nord Stream AG. (n.d.). Nord Stream - Who we are. Nord Stream AG. Retrieved March 24, 2022, from

Balashova, S.P., Vilchek, G.E., Rodivilova, O.V., Goriunova, V.B., Poddubskaya, M.B., Perovskaya, M.N., Pavlov, B.A., Pankratova, N.V., Uvarov, O.A., Dzutzeva, M.V., Chugunova, N.A., Zhuravlev, E.A., Lomakina, E.S., Matiko, I.I. (2008). The Nord Stream offshore pipeline construction project (Russian Sector) (Unofficial English Translation – for Courtesy Only). Nord Stream.

Zimmermann, S. (2022, January 25). What is Nord Stream 2 and how does it link to the Russia-Ukraine crisis? euronews. Retrieved March 24, 2022, from

Dean, G. (2022, February 28). German stakeholder in Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline rejects calls to shut it down in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Business Insider. Retrieved March 24, 2022, from

Stevens, J. (2019, May 21). Nord Stream 2 explained: What it is and why it's proving controversial. CNBC. Retrieved March 24, 2022, from

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