OREANDA-NEWS. The first string of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has been filled with technical gas, and the second is being prepared for this, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 AG project said.

"As of October 18, the procedure for filling the first line with gas was completed. Commissioning work on the second line continues," the press release says.

It is clarified that about 177 million cubic meters were pumped in, which provides a pressure level in the gas pipeline of 103 bar. This is enough to transport fuel in the future.

"Our goal is to provide the market with additional reliable gas transmission capacities as soon as possible. We will inform about further technical steps additionally," the company added.

The builders finished work on Nord Stream 2 on September 10. Now the process of certification of the operator is ongoing to comply with the terms of the EU gas directive. It will take place in two steps: first, the German regulator will develop a draft decision, then the European Commission will give its assessment of it. The whole process of certification, according to official requirements, can take several months.

Deputy Prime Minister and ex-head of the Russian Ministry of Energy Alexander Novak said on October 14 that the pipeline would be ready for launch in the coming days, and then everything would depend on partners.

Europe on October 13 began an active period of gas withdrawal from its UGS facilities. At the start of the withdrawal season, the vaults were just over 78 percent full, 14 percentage points less than the five-year average.