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Russia, US continue to clash over fate of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

September 29/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia and the US continue to clash over the future of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, with Moscow hitting out at calls from Washington for the creation of a "coalition" of nations aimed at blocking completion of the project, said S&P Global.

A little over 150 km of Nord Stream 2 remains to be laid in Danish and German waters, but with the political debate becoming ever more frenzied, it remains unclear how and when the pipeline will be completed.

Nord Stream 2 would double the capacity of the gas corridor via the Baltic Sea to Germany to 110 Bcm/year and would reduce the need for Russia to use Ukraine as a transit country for gas supply to Europe.

On Sept. 24, Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov slammed the hardening US opposition to the pipeline, saying Germany should ignore calls for the project to be halted. Those calls have followed the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny on Aug. 20.

"I think the time has now come for us to calm down on this topic," Lavrov was quoted as saying by the Tass news agency. "This issue has now become a matter of honor for Germany," he said.

Opinion in Germany is divided, with Chancellor Angela Merkel thought to still be in favor of the project despite calls from across the the political spectrum for Nord Stream 2 to be halted following the Navalny incident.

But the US has intensified its efforts to bring down the project in recent weeks on top of measures already in place that threaten sanctions against companies laying Nord Stream 2 or helping the pipelaying process.

As MRC informed earlier, global oil refiners reeling from months of lackluster demand and an abundance of inventories are cutting fuel production into the autumn because the recovery in demand from the impact of coronavirus has stalled, according to executives, refinery workers, and industry analysts. Refiners cut output by as much as 35% in spring as coronavirus lockdowns destroyed the need for travel. As lockdowns eased, refiners increased output slowly through late August. But in top fuel consumers the United States and elsewhere, refiners have been decreasing rates for the last several weeks in response to increased inventories, a sustained lack of demand, and in response to natural disasters.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PE production totalled 1,712,400 tonnes in the first seven months of 2020, up by 58% year on year. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounted for the greatest increase in the output. At the same time, overall PP production in Russia increased in January-July 2020 by 24% year on year to 1,063,700 tonne. ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in the output.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, neftegaz, petrochemistry.
Category:General News
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