The Russia-led Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline could begin shipping gas as soon as this year, one of the western investors in the project, Austria’s OMV, said on Wednesday.
“I would like to keep my fingers crossed for the Nord Stream 2. The head of the company [Nord Stream 2 AG] said that the construction work would be completed at the end of August. So, we believe that the gas may be flowing this year. There is a good chance of this happening,” OMV’s chief executive officer Rainer Seele said on the company’s Q2 earnings call, as carried by Russian news agency TASS.
OMV, together with Engie, Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall Dea, has provided financing to the Nord Stream 2 project, which is being led by Russia’s gas giant Gazprom.
The European Union (EU) and the United States have opposed the Nord Stream 2 project from Russia to Germany, concerned about Russia using gas sales and its gas monopoly Gazprom as a political tool. Poland, several other EU countries, and the United States have seen Nord Stream 2 as further undermining Europe’s energy security by giving Gazprom another pipeline to ship its natural gas to European markets. Germany has looked at the project from a business perspective mostly.
But last week, the United States and Germany said they had reached a deal over the controversial Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, clearing the way for the completion of the natural gas pipeline and handing Germany a decisive victory in the matter.
The U.S. and Germany said that their “commitment is designed to ensure that Russia will not misuse any pipeline, including Nord Stream 2, to achieve aggressive political ends by using energy as a weapon.”
During today’s earnings call, OMV’s Seele welcomed the agreement saying that “it paves the way to the final completion and commissioning of the pipeline.”