The operator of the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline said pre-commissioning work started Friday on the first line of the system, but when exactly service will start and the impact it might have on European energy markets remains unclear. 

Nord Stream Pipeline

Nord Stream 2 AG said Thursday that the first stretch of the twin pipeline that runs from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany was finished earlier this month when pipe laying was completed. The above water tie-in was completed Thursday, the company said, clearing the way for preparations to fill the first line with natural gas. 

Offshore pipe laying for the second line is ongoing, the company said. Russian President Vladimir Putin told an economic forum in St. Petersburg this month that the second line is expected to be completed by August....