BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government is considering converting parts of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into a connection for a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Baltic Sea coast.
Magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday that the German economy ministry is considering expropriating the part of the pipeline system located on German territory and cutting it off from the rest of the pipeline. The report did not cite any sources.
Russia said it would be a matter for lawyers if Germany took such steps.
Russian gas giant Gazprom completed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was designed to double the flow of Russian gas direct to Germany, at the end of last year but it has yet to be used. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced it would not go into operation after relations with Moscow broke down ahead of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Flows of natural gas from Russia have been declining for weeks, and Germany, mindful of the risk of economically damaging energy shortages, is looking for emergency landing locations for liquefied natural gas bought on the world spot market.
Germany has chartered four specialised carriers, so-called FSRUs, to regasify LNG at sea and feed it into onshore pipeline systems.
A Baltic Sea landing site to complement those at Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuettel on the North Sea, would expand capacity.
Eastern and southern Germany are especially dependent on Russian pipeline gas and would benefit from the diversification, Spiegel said.
Onshore pipelines that would have carried Nord Stream 2 gas could be repurposed.
(Writing by Paul Carrel and Vera Eckert, editing by Rachel More, Thomas Escritt and Susan Fenton)