Gazprom chief says slight changes to Nord Stream 2 timings possible: Ifax

Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 12, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Slight changes to the schedule of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project to Germany are possible, Alexey Miller, chief executive of Gazprom, the Russian state gas producer leading the project, was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Delays in obtaining permits from Denmark could cause the launch of the project to be delayed from late 2019 to 2020, Interfax cited Nord Stream 2 AG, the project’s operator, as saying on Friday.

“Even if some situations occur, it’s important to understand that they could affect the project’s deadlines, but in a very, very insignificant way,” Miller was cited by Interfax as saying in a television interview due to be aired later on Sunday.

“In reality the atmosphere is not so bad, work continues, work continues at a good pace... And four fifths of the capital expenditures required to build the gas pipeline have now been financed,” Miller was cited as saying.

Nord Stream 2 is led by Gazprom, with 50 percent of the funding provided by Germany’s Uniper and BASF’s Wintershall unit, Anglo-Dutch firm Shell, Austria’s OMV and France’s Engie.

Nord Stream 2 has come under fire from the United States and several eastern European, Nordic and Baltic Sea countries which fear it will increase the European Union’s reliance on Russian gas.

Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Vladimir Soldatkin and Peter Graff