Gazprom, the largest natural gas company in the world, announced today that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is presently under construction and nearing completion, is expected to deliver 5.6 bcm of Russian natural gas to Europe this year.
The $11 billion Nord Stream 2, designed to bypass Russia's political foe Ukraine and double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline to 110 billion cubic meters per year, has been a focal point of tensions between Moscow and Washington.
The construction of the undersea pipeline to Germany has been hampered by sanctions introduced by the United States at the end of 2019, political tensions and Washington's plans to boost sales of its seaborne liquefied natural gas to Europe.
The contentious subsea pipeline in now 99% complete. The project's Switzerland-based operating company said on Wednesday the Fortuna pipe-laying vessel is working on the final part of the pipeline.
Gazprom also said on Thursday that gas flows via the existing Nord Stream pipeline reached 33.7 bcm in January-July, up from 32.9 bcm in the same period of last year and 31.7 bcm in the first seven months of 2019.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are due to meet in Moscow on Friday and most likely will discuss the pipeline.