Natural Gas in the Baltic Sea Region
The article presents an overview of natural gas reserves, production volumes and dependence on imports, the use of gas and the gas pipeline network in the Baltics and new projects in the Baltic Sea region.
The main focus is placed on the idea of constructing a Russia-Germany pipeline through the Baltic Sea, a project that has not been coordinated with the countries in the Baltic Sea region. The article stresses the need to thoroughly analyze the Baltics’ energy future from the standpoint of security, its influence on the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea and conformity to the principles of international maritime law. There is a proposal to connect the planned gas pipeline with underground storage facilities in Latvia. The article surveys the minefields deployed in the Baltic Sea during World War II and the chemical weapons sunk there, which may pose a threat to the construction of the gas pipeline and to the sensitive ecosystems of the Baltic. The need to adhere to international maritime law and the requirements of the Baltic Sea protection convention is stressed.