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Commissioning work to fill first Nord Stream 2 gas string to begin June 11: operator

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Commissioning work to fill first Nord Stream 2 gas string to begin June 11: operator

Highlights

Offshore section of first string technically complete

Work to lay the 27.5 Bcm/year line completed June 4

Pipelaying work on second string continues

Commissioning work to fill the first string of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany with gas is to begin on June 11, the developer of the project said June 10.

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In a statement, Nord Stream 2 AG said the offshore section of the first 27.5 Bcm/year string of Nord Stream 2 was now "technically completed."

It follows the announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 4 that the first string of the pipeline had been laid.

"On June 4, the pipelaying was completed, and today the overflow was carried out -- the offshore sections of the gas pipeline laid from the side of Russia and Germany are interconnected," Nord Stream 2 AG said.

"Starting tomorrow [June 11], commissioning works to fill the gas pipeline with gas will begin," it said.

It added that pipelaying work on the offshore section of the second string continued. "All work is carried out in accordance with all the necessary permits," it said.

The completion of the first string comes after US President Joe Biden granted a waiver to the project developer Nord Stream 2 AG on May 19, effectively allowing the pipeline to be completed.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on June 7 said the physical completion of the pipeline was already a "fait accompli" and that imposing sanctions against the project developer would not have changed anything in terms of its physical completion.

Attention will now turn to the operation of the pipeline, which will have to comply with EU regulations under the amended EU Gas Directive.

This means it will have to adhere to rules including requirements on third-party access to the pipeline and ownership unbundling.

Nord Stream 2 is still fighting to overturn the amended directive including through courts of appeal and in arbitration.

Gazprom wants to shift much of the gas it currently sends to Europe via Ukraine into Nord Stream 2, which would leave Ukraine without much-needed transit revenues.