MOSCOW. Feb 3 (Interfax) - Austrian Vice-Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner and Gazprom (MOEX: GAZP) officials have discussed the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project, the Russian company reported on Tuesday.
Mitterlehner told the press earlier that Austria had a particular interest in the project, and that the diversification of gas supply was very important to it. He said that the involvement of Austria's OMV in the project was highly significant, as well.
An asset swap between OMV and Gazprom is a question of their relationship, and such issues should primarily be resolved by the executives of the relevant companies, he said.
The Austrian official and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller "discussed the importance of building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, so that the growing demand for Russian gas can be met in the future," Gazprom said in a report.
"They noted the ongoing growth of Russian gas supply to Austria. According to the preliminary information, Gazprom exported 76.2% more gas to the Austrian market in January 2016, than it did in the corresponding period of 2015. Gas supply volumes grew by 11.5% year-on-year in 2015," Gazprom said.
"The meeting highlighted underground gas storage in Europe. [The sides] spoke about cooperation in the Haidach gas storage, the largest gas storage in Austria, and the second largest gas storage in Central Europe. An agreement to enlarge the overall active storage capacity of Haidach by 150 million cubic meters, or approximately 5%, was reached in 2015. The maximum gas off-take grew by 1.55 million cubic meters a day. As a result, the active storage capacity of the facility reached 2.98 billion cubic meters, and the maximum daily productivity amounted to 29.9 million cubic meters. It was said that the storage capacity had been increased without additional investment," the report said.
The Haidach gas storage is a joint project between PJSC Gazprom (which owns 66.7% of the facility), Austria's RAG and Germany's WINGAS. The primary purpose of Haidach is to ensure reliable exports of Russian gas to Baumgarten, and consumers in Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Italy. RAG is the gas storage operator.
In September 2015, Gazprom, BASF, E.ON, ENGIE, OMV and Shell signed a shareholder agreement to create the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline system with an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters. The pipeline will be laid from Russia to Germany across the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
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