26 Feb 2019 11:33

Gazprom Export not ready to comment on EU's new gas directive, says it could still change

MOSCOW. Feb 26 (Interfax) - Gazprom says it is not ready to comment on the effect of the European Union's new gas directive might have on Nord Stream 2.

A week ago, Chairman of the Management Committee Alexei Miller declined to comment on the project; on Tuesday, Director General of Gazprom Export Elena Burmistrova was asked a similar question by investors in Hong Kong.

"In my view, it's still early to give final commentaries and evaluations, since, as is known, the application procedure still doesn't exist or at least is unknown to us. What's more, the Council of Transport, Telecommunications, and Energy will be meeting at the beginning of March, and it's possible that there will be some additional amendments," Burmistrova said.

"But in any case, we understand that we're talking about a very insignificant piece of territory, not even 20 kilometers," she said.

Representatives from European Union member states and the European Parliament earlier approved the review of gas-market legislation, which would lower the barriers for the Nord Stream 2 project. The bill is based on EU rules, which forbid gas suppliers from controlling transport and require that third parties be given access to pipelines. The bill would prevent Danish regulators from having the final say on Nord Stream 2, giving such powers primarily to the German authorities, who would be able to request an exception from the EU's requirements for the opening of the market as long as this would not create problems for competition or deliveries.

The 1,224-kilometer Nord Stream twin pipeline system through the Baltic Sea stretches from Vyborg, Russia to Lubmin near Greifswald, Germany. It has a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Nord Stream 2 will double that capacity at a cost of 10 billion euros. Gazprom started to build it last year and aims to finish it by the end of this year.