WASHINGTON—A group of Republican and Democratic U.S. senators introduced legislation on May 14 seeking sanctions targeting the Nord Stream 2, a planned gas pipeline from Russia to Germany under fire from the United States and some European Union countries.
The bill introduced by Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, John Barrasso and Tom Cotton and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, seeks to impose travel and financial sanctions on companies and individuals involved in constructing the pipeline.
The legislation reflects continued U.S. concerns over Russian influence in Europe, but the measure is many steps from becoming law. It would need to pass both the Senate and House of Representatives and be signed by President Donald Trump to go into effect.
The Nord Stream 2 project is led by the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom, with funding from Germany’s Uniper and BASF unit Wintershall, Anglo-Dutch firm Shell, Austria’s OMV and France’s Engie.
Opponents of the $12 billion project worry its construction will increase European reliance on Russian energy. Trump has accused Germany of being “captive” to Moscow because of its dependence on Russian energy, and urged that the project be halted.
But gas by pipeline from Russia offers Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, and other countries in the region a cheaper option for fuel than LNG from the United States and other producers.
Germany also wants to reduce its reliance on coal and nuclear energy.
The pipeline, which would carry gas straight to Germany under the Baltic Sea, has also been criticized because it would deprive Ukraine of lucrative gas transit fees, potentially making Kiev more vulnerable.
Washington has touted LNG, delivered by U.S. companies, as an alternative to Russian gas.
Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor ASA on Sunday said it will sell a 16% stake in Lundin Petroleum AB for about $1.56 billion, and in return acquire an additional 2.6% stake in Johan Sverdrup oilfield.
Shell agreed to sell its upstream interests in Denmark in the Danish Underground Consortium to Noreco for $1.9 billion as part of the oil major’s larger divestment program.
Norwegian oil company Okea plans an IPO in Oslo as part of its deal to buy some assets from Shell in Norway, positioning it for more mergers and acquisitions, the company’s CEO said Sept. 7.