BERLIN (Sputnik) — Russia’s gas giant Gazprom set up a joint venture in 2015 with France's Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, Royal Dutch Shell, Germany's Uniper and Wintershall to bring Russian natural gas to the European Union.
"The construction of the pipeline will be in full swing in two years. The planned deadline for phasing in its production capacities by the end of 2019 is still our goal," OMV CEO Rainer Seele said.
On December 14, 2016, Gazprom and OMV signed a basic agreement on the exchange of assets, which should result in Gazprom receiving 38.5 percent of OMV Norge AS, the Norwegian branch of the Austrian company, while OMV will get 24.98 percent share in Gazprom's development projects at Urengoy gas field.
The planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline is expected to be able to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union, carrying it across the Baltic Sea to Germany while bypassing Ukraine. The launch of the pipeline is planned for 2018.
A number of EU countries, Germany, in particular, showed support for the pipeline, however, some EU member states, such as Poland, has not been as welcoming. On February 7, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said Warsaw found the project unacceptable.