Walks, roams the seas
Floats, as you know, in the hole you know what. Our Russian pipelayer "Akademik Chersky", like any other self-respecting ship, walks. A lot, long and tedious, so we can already say - wanders.
Although the main task of the ship is completely different - to lay pipes. In all official documents, "Chersky" is listed as KMTUS, that is, a crane and assembly pipe-laying vessel. "Academician Chersky" was taken with such difficulty across the oceans and seas to the German port of Mukran that it was just right to hand out awards to the team.
And about crossing the equator. And because now she can handle any trip around the world and are not afraid of any sanctions. Up to the sanctions against insurers, which KMTUS covered with its own board.
However, recent reports from the Baltic shores are not very inspiring. The media, large and small, amicably reported that
“Academician Chersky has moved away from the completion point of Nord Stream 2.
Further only the chronicles. But with comments. Since a simple list of events is about to get into Wikipedia.
At the beginning of a long journey
January 2020 of the year. The modernization of the Russian pipe-laying vessel Akademik Chersky was completed at the Nakhodka shipyard.
Together with the Fortuna pipe-laying barge, this is the only real contractor for the last stage of construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. That is, laying a 70-80 kilometer section along the bottom of the Baltic Sea in Denmark's economic responsibility zone.
February 9, 2020, Sunday. According to the global positioning system of sea vessels, on Sunday, February 9, KMTUS "Akademik Chersky" left the port of Nakhodka and headed for Singapore.
February 24, Monday. The pipelayer owned by Gazprom was supposed to arrive in Singapore on February 22, but changed the route. Experts assumed that the ship was being prepared for passage to the Baltic along the Northern Sea Route.
Thus, Deputy General Director of the Institute of National Energy Alexander Frolov noted that
“The Northern Sea Route is shorter, and there are fewer risks associated with possible interference of some third parties. But, on the other hand, there are problems associated with ice conditions on the route. Now it is difficult to drive Akademik Chersky along the Northern Sea Route. "
March 6, Friday. The pipelayer "Akademik Chersky", accompanied by ships of the Russian Navy, passed Sri Lanka. The vessel abandoned the northern route and headed towards the Suez Canal.
On the same day, an expanded meeting of the monitoring committee of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC in Vienna failed. The Russian delegation, which is not a member of OPEC, did not accept the proposal to reduce production quotas and left the meeting.
Oil quotes on March 6 were still at $ 45,5 per barrel for Brent and $ 49,52 for WTI. However, the exchanges were already preparing for a massive fall in prices.
The world is on the verge of a new large-scale oil crisis. At that time, few people still understood that if the crisis dragged on even for the duration of the anti-virus quarantine, its consequences would be, if not catastrophic, then unpredictable. And the well-known events of the 70s of the last century will seem like a cheap performance, albeit very well directed.
Spring without hope
March 2020 year. Saudi Arabia announces the start of an unprecedented campaign to increase oil production - by early April to 12,3 million barrels. At the same time, oil production in Russia remains at 11,3 million barrels.
Saudi Aramco, a national oil company, is plummeting. Brent crude oil for two trading sessions fell in price by 27% at once - to 35,73 dollars per barrel.
At the same time, in Russia, there was a drop in the national currency rate to 82–83 rubles per euro and 76–78 rubles. per US dollar.
US President Donald Trump says that low prices for hydrocarbons are beneficial to the global economy, as they stimulate the growth of other industries. The White House owner then instructs the Secretary of Energy to purchase, at a very good price, a large amount of crude oil for storage in the US strategic reserve.
The Fed announces the preparation of the issue of dollars - up to several trillion, which does not even require the inclusion of a printing press. But the dollar exchange rate does not change, since it is clear that the emission will have to be absorbed by the whole world.
China begins active negotiations with Russia on large-scale purchases of hydrocarbons. Oil on this news and Trump's statements first stabilize in price, and then slowly begins to rise in price.
March 11, Wednesday. The World Health Organization WHO declares the outbreak of the coronavirus Covid-19 a pandemic.
In the United States, a campaign starts with the participation of the press and a number of officials for new sanctions against the Russian Gazprom and the Nord Stream 2 project.
March 13, Friday. Akademik Chersky is changing course due to the coronavirus pandemic and fears of sanctions. The captain of the vessel refuses to move through the Suez Canal and decides to continue sailing in the direction of Madagascar.
March 23, Monday. The bankruptcy procedure has begun for one of the US shale oil companies. Oil quotes reached a new minimum - a barrel of Brent was sold at $ 23,48. At the same time, this practically did not affect the rate of the Russian ruble.
March 28, Saturday. "Academician Chersky" passed Cape Town in South Africa and continued to sail along the coast of the African continent.
April 1, Wednesday. The day when all restrictions on oil production in the countries participating in the OPEC + series of deals were officially lifted. The collapse of prices on the oil market, however, did not happen - it already took place in March ahead of the curve. Brent crude is quoted at $ 25,6 / bbl.
April 2020 year. The Akademik Chersky pipelayer changes its waypoint from Puente Noir in Congo to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands in Spain. According to the navigation portal Marine Traffic, the ship plans to arrive there on April 18.
US President Donald Trump declares the danger of low oil prices for the global economy, and then readiness to participate in the reduction of oil production.
Another attempt by Saudi Arabia and Russia to agree on a reduction in oil production levels ends in failure. However, Brent crude oil futures prices, which were currently falling below $ 20 / bbl, exceeded $ 30 for the first time in three weeks.
The ruble is starting to win back losses against world currencies.
3 May, Sunday. "Akademik Chersky" stood up waiting for the entrance to the Kaliningrad Bay. It was planned that he would proceed to one of the shipbuilding and ship repair plants in the Kaliningrad region.
Formerly the newest tanker of the North fleet RF "Akademik Pashin" refueling the pipelayer in the English Channel.
May 7, Thursday. From Kaliningrad, KMTUS Akademik Chersky headed for the German port of Mukran, where the Nord Stream 2 logistic terminal is located.
South of Bornholm Island, in the area where the Swiss company Allseas under threat of US sanctions stopped work in December 2019, the research vessel Stril Explorer has begun work.
It specializes in external inspection of offshore pipelines.
May 14, Thursday. The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has confirmed the issuance of a permit for the construction of Nord Stream 2. At the same time, conditions were put forward for the approval of the route, as well as the vessels and conditions for the construction of the gas pipeline. Due to the change of pipelayers, the DEA permission will have to be reconciled.
2 June, Tuesday. Russia re-registered KMTUS "Akademik Chersky" to the Samara heat and power property fund STIF. This made it possible to remove not only the issue of the previous version of the US sanctions, but also to outline a solution to the problem with the insurance of project participants.
26 June, Friday. Germany has announced its readiness to take retaliatory measures in case the United States imposes additional sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project.
The Ministry of Economy of the Federal Republic of Germany recalled that
“New US sanctions could affect a significant number of European companies and banks, as well as government organizations. The damage can be serious - about 670 companies from 25 countries worked on the pipeline. ”
August 2020 KMTUS "Akademik Chersky" is located in the port of Mukran.
The Security Council of the Russian Federation announced the protection of the pipe-layer for the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. The Security Council called the measure necessary because of possible provocations from other countries.
As part of the construction of Nord Stream 2, the Russian Navy ships ensured the safe passage of the Akademik Chersky pipelayer and supply vessels from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad.
The OPEC Monitoring Committee notified the participants in the OPEC + agreement about the reduction of the total quota for limiting oil production from 9,7 million barrels per day to 7,7 million. The decision had practically no effect on oil quotes.
15 September, Tuesday. The supply vessel "Ivan Sidorenko" headed to the port of Mukran. There, next to the KMTUS "Akademik Chersky" there is an auxiliary vessel "Berghaus" used for underwater rock filling during the construction of offshore facilities.
2020 October, the Almost all countries in the world are introducing tough measures to combat the second wave of coronavirus. The Russian ruble again falls at the rate against the dollar and the euro to marks, respectively, in the region of 80 and 90 rubles.
The participants in the OPEC + deal decide to roll over the August reduction in the total quota for limiting production to 7,7 million barrels per day. Oil continues to be quoted at around $ 40 per barrel.
October 1, Thursday. The Danish authorities have approved a permit to operate Nord Stream 2 on the country's continental shelf. The permit, updated in accordance with the requirements put forward on May 14, was issued by the Danish Energy Agency.
October 20, Tuesday. The United States has extended sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. These are common to companies that provide services or facilities for retrofitting and installing equipment on pipe-laying vessels.
November 14, Saturday. It was announced that various options for completing the construction of Nord Stream 2 were being worked out, as well as the completion of ground work in Germany. Pipe-laying at the bottom of the Baltic Sea is still suspended.
December 5, Saturday. In the exclusive economic zone of Germany, work has been resumed on the laying of pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The work is being carried out by the pipe-laying barge Fortuna under the Russian flag.
Delivery of equipment from the Nord Stream 2 logistics base from the German port of Mukran is provided by Russian supply vessels - Umka and Finval.
The ruble is strengthening against the main reserve currencies. Oil is quoted consistently above $ 45 per barrel.
December 8, Tuesday. KMTUS "Akademik Chersky" returns to Kaliningrad after a three-day stay south of the island. Bornholm.
At the same time, in accordance with the decision of the German Federal Office for Shipping and Hydrography (BSH), the pipe-laying barge Fortuna may continue to lay the pipeline.
The permit was granted for the period from 5 to 31 December 2020 in the area between the shallow waters of Adlergrund and the Oder Bank, where the operator of the Nord Stream 2 AG project plans to build a section (2,6 km long) on each of the two branches of Nord Stream 2.
The procrastination of life is like
How long games of sanctions and all sorts of litigation can drag on, hardly anyone now understands. But due to the second wave of coronavirus, the very market situation, which was in a hurry for Nord Stream 2, now, in fact, slows it down.
It has only now become clear to many that Gazprom's ambitious project is directed not so much against American LNG as at the global hydrogen perspective. After that, it is not surprising that the passions have almost subsided.
In addition, the passionate Trump seems to be replaced by the "impartial" Biden. And this, too, is a chance not to play around the sanctions, but simply to lead the case towards their lifting. The question of in whose favor time will now play is obviously already becoming secondary.
In general, the situation now strongly resembles the famous remark of I. Stalin at the Yalta conference in 1945. The leader of the peoples then, as you know, simply asked the leaders of the allied countries - Roosevelt and Churchill, at what distance from Berlin their troops were.
Having received the answer - 600 kilometers, he immediately recalled that the Red Army approached the capital of the Third Reich for 60 kilometers. The question of who will take Berlin has disappeared by itself.
Gazprom's American opponents, who very soon will no longer need to be viewed as competitors, have a lot of time ahead. But Russian gas workers also have it, although the Nord Stream 2 project still needs to be completed.
The United States is really capable of increasing the volume of production and processing, and after that, the volume of supplies of their LNG to Europe, after overcoming the pandemic. Build up to the scale of real competition with Nord Stream 2.
But then the demand for gas may already grow. And so much so that it will be enough for both American LNG and a couple of analogues of the long-suffering Nord Stream 2.