Gazprom Ready for Nord Stream 3 Pipeline

Gazprom plans to lay a new pipeline to Europe, the Deputy Chairman of the company’s Managerial Committee, Alexander Medvedev, said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV.

“We have confirmed reserves, we have transport and we are building new transport routes. If Europe tells us what it needs and is ready to sign the pertinent contracts, I am not ruling out that we might need new gas pipelines, like, for example, Nord Stream 3,” Medvedev added.

It was earlier reported that Gazprom was keeping a close eye on falling gas production from the Netherlands’ giant Groningen field amid a general drop in natural gas reserves in the EU. Medvedev added that Russia is ready to provide as much natural gas to Europe as it possibly needs.

In March, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said annual natural gas production at Groningen will fall to 12 billion cubic meters by October 2022 and will be terminated by 2030. In 2016, Gazprom cranked up exports by 12.5% to a record 179.3 billion cubic meters and to an all-time record of 194.4 billion in 2017.

With additional gas supplies to China and Europe slated for next year, Gazprom, which currently accounts for more than 60% of European gas imports, plans to increase its export to Europe to a staggering 200 billion cubic meters.

The gas giant is currently operating the underwater Nord Stream pipeline, which has been transporting Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea since 2012. Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 is slated to go into operation before the end of 2019. Both projects have faced strong opposition from transit countries and those which find themselves away from delivery points, such as Ukraine and the Baltic States.

Nord Stream 2 is a joint project run by Russia’s Gazprom together with France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. It will deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas per year to the EU, through a pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Germany.

Last week, it was reported that Nord Stream 2 in March attracted funds in the amount of 404 million euros from its foreign partners for the construction of the gas pipeline. The funds were raised on conditions of a long-term financing agreement signed between the parties in April 2017.

Last year, Gazprom and its partner companies provided the Nord Stream 2 project with about 3 billion euros. The overall project budget amounts to 9.5 billion euros, including interest expenses. Initially, it was envisaged that 30% of the costs would be provided by partners, while 70% would be covered by project financing.