Russia is now the main supplier of gas to Germany (55.5 bcm), followed by Norway (27 bcm and the Netherlands (23.4 bcm). These three countries account for more than 90 % of Germany’s gas imports. But as production in the Netherlands is undergoing rapid cuts and Norway is heading for a peak in production after 2030, Russia could play an increasingly important role.
Germany intends to stop the operation of all its nuclear power stations by 2022 and shut down its coal-fired stations by 2038. That will mean an increase in demand for gas. And even to facilitate the use of renewable energy, a more stable source of energy will be needed. And that will mean Germany increasing its dependence on imported gas – with a peak in demand expected in 2034.
“If Germany decides price is the most important factor, Nord Stream 2 will go ahead, as it diversifies supply to the market, reducing the risk of high energy prices,” said Carlos Torres Diaz, Rystad’s Head of Power and Gas Markets.
Germany also has plans to build three regasification plants with a combined total capacity of 26.4 bcm. Experts say that most of the gas being shipped to Germany passes through third countries – making Germany more susceptible to geopolitical tensions and raising the importance of direct access to new supplies, including from Nord Stream 2.
“The Construction of Nord Stream 2 will enable Germany to better reach agreements on supplies of gas from the United States and Russia and German buyers will be able to make use of their position to secure the best conditions for supply deals,” one analyst said.
Analysts forecast that German buyers will pay between $4 and $7 per million British thermal units (MMBTU) for liquefied natural gas on the spot market. The estimated SRMC (short-run marginal cost) of operating costs of Russian supplies by pipeline to Western Europe ranges between $2.60 per MMBTU and $4.60 per MMBTU.
Analysts believe any estimate of a contract price to be set by Gazprom for Nord Stream 2 to be speculative. But they believe it would be cheaper than LNG from the United States and would, on average, cost between $4 and $7 per MMBTU.