The controversial Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany may supply 5.6 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe this year, Gazprom said on its Telegram channel on Thursday.
Gazprom’s announcement caused European benchmark gas prices to drop 10 percent on Thursday morning. Europe’s gas prices have hit record levels in recent weeks amid higher demand and lower supply, including from Gazprom.
The operating company behind the project, Switzerland-based Nord Stream 2 AG, told Reuters today that construction is 99 percent complete.
The Fortuna pipe-laying vessel from Russia is working on the final part of the construction, Nord Stream 2 AG told Reuters.
Earlier reports from German news outlet Deutsche Welle suggested that the construction works for the pipeline are expected to be completed on August 23.
At the end of July, one of the western investors in the project, Austria’s OMV, said that Nord Stream 2 could begin shipping gas as soon as this year.
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 month, the United States and Germany said they had reached a deal over the controversial pipeline, clearing the way for the completion of the project 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.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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