• Between law and politics: Reflections on the Nord Stream gas pipeline

    Fazil Jamal (see profile)
    Global & Transnational Studies
    Energy policy, Energy security, Natural gas pipelines, Underwater pipelines, Russia (Federation), Baltic States, Europe--Baltic Sea Region, International law, Energy Charter Treaty (1994 December 17), European Union
    Item Type:
    law and politics, nord stream gas pipeline
    Permanent URL:
    With US economic sanctions against Russia in recent years, the Nord Stream Gas Pipeline project in Europe that links Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea came under considerable global attention. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has only increased uncertainties around the Project, arguably one of the world’s most consequential submarine pipeline projects. While legal instruments and contractual arrangements provide the foundational basis for beneficial cooperation among the States on transnational pipeline projects, the functional environment of these large-scale projects are also impacted due to the ‘strategic’ calculations and other ‘extra-legal’ factors brought into the picture by powerful actors. This paper seeks to identify and understand the legal and extra-legal factors that impact the making and ‘unmaking’ of large, submarine pipelines through a case study of the Nord Stream pipeline project. The study illustrates the ways in which the silences of legal instruments give rise to varied interpretations of applicable norms vis-a-vis submarine pipelines today. Part I contains a brief description of the Nord Stream Project against the backdrop of the many functions of submarine pipelines today. Part II provides an overview of the Law of the Sea framework relevant for the construction and operation of submarine pipelines. Part III contains a case study of the Project, examining the extend of regulatory powers of coastal states vis-a-vis marine surveys and other related aspects of the construction permits of submarine pipelines and also a review of the unilateral sanctions imposed on the project by the United States in recent years. Part IV contains some final reflections on the interface between law and politics in the construction and operation of large pipelines such as the Nord Stream Project.
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago


    Item Name: pdf 4-3-17-ijlpsr-article.pdf
      Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 165