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    Austria's OMV Ready to Keep Financing Nord Stream 2 Amid Criticism - CEO

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    VIENNA (Sputnik) - Austria's OMV energy group CEO Rayner Zele told Sputnik that the company had already invested $607 million in the Nord Stream 2 project and was intending to continue financing the pipeline.

    "To date, we have transferred 531 million euros [$607 million] to the project," Zele said, adding that the next year's funding would depend on the demands of the Nord Stream 2 operator.

    READ MORE: US Mulling Over 'Variety of Things' to Stop Nord Stream 2 Construction — Bolton

    "We have a loan agreement under which Nord Stream 2 can request certain amounts from us,” Zele said.

    The opponents of the pipeline, including Ukraine and the Baltic states, have intensified their appeals to halt the project after the recent Kerch Strait incident.

    Russia's Gazprom and Austria's OMV energy group are planning to conclude the deal on assets exchange in the first three months of the next year, Rayner Zele said.

    "[Gazprom CEO] Alexey Miller and myself have reached a clear agreement that the deals would be signed and prices set in the first quarter of the next year," Zele said.

    The speaker clarified that the deal was related to selling the sites, not to the assets swap.

    Under the deal, OMV is expected to buy 24.98 percent of the shares in the fourth and fifth blocks of the Achimov deposits.

    Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russia's energy giant Gazprom and five European companies. It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas annually to the European Union via the Baltic Sea and Germany, and is expected to be put into operation by the end of 2019.

    OPEC Decision on Oil Production Cuts

    Rayner Zele said that the recent decision of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to limit oil outputs would balance supply and demand in the global oil market.

    READ MORE: Saudi Economists Suggest Qatar Leaves OPEC for Political Reasons

    "I can only welcome [the decision]. It will stabilize markets. We are not interested in disbalance on the global oil markets. This decision will lead to stabilizing the supply and demand and eliminating surplus," the official said.

    On Friday, the cartel and non-OPEC producers decided to jointly reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day starting January 2019.

    Related:

    Iran Asking OPEC to Use March-April Oil Output Levels for New Cuts - Source
    Austrian Chancellor Supports Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, Despite 'US Scrutiny'
    Kerch Strait Incident Not Changing Germany's Stance on Nord Stream-2 - Berlin
    Tags:
    Nord Stream 2, OMV AG, OPEC, Gazprom, Russia, Austria
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