Shell & Co ready to defy Poland over Nordstream 2, says Gazprom chief

Alexey Miller Gazprom CEOThe international consortium put together to build the Nordstream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany are getting ready to defy the Polish authorities by coming up with a new financing model by the end of the year, according to Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller. His announcement took observers by surprise as it comes just days after the Russian oil giant’s Western partners in the JV – Shell, Engie, OMV, Uniper and Wintershall – appeared ready to pull out of the scheme in order to comply with a ruling from Poland’s anti-monopoly watchdog that the proposed new pipeline would cement Gazprom’s already dominant position in the European gas market.
Nord Stream2 pipesBut on Monday, Miller told the TASS news agency that Gazprom was aiming to devise a way around the Polish authorities’ anti-monopoly decision and that the original project participants were also intent on going forward with the pipeline. There were no changes to the construction schedule at the moment, he added, as the Finnish ports of Kotka and Hanko were simultaneously confirmed as the storage and logistics hub for Nordstream 2′ s concrete weight coatings and pipes.
Nordstream 2Miller’s announcement is the latest twist in a saga that has already highlighted the disconnect between attempts by Brussels to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russia for its energy supplies and the commercial realities of the situation. While some energy security experts insist that Europe does not need a new pipeline, industry chiefs in Western Europe appear loathe to trust a gas supply that runs through Ukraine and is therefore hostage to the state of relations between Moscow and Kiev – nor are they convinced that their companies’ medium-term energy requirements will be met either by the TANAP-TAP pipeline that it is due to transport gas from Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea fields via Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy or by Russia’s Turkish Stream pipeline that stalled last year after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane over Syria. Despite a recent thawing of relations between Moscow and Ankara, the latter project is still seen as carrying political risk and may yet stall.
Although Nordstream 2 is being strenuously opposed by most Central And East European EU member states, Germany has already approved the project.

 
Source: tass