- Polish courts have prevented the Polish subsidiaries of Gazprom's partners like Shell, OMV and Wintershall from helping to finance the pipeline
- It was feared this might sink the project but Gazprom and partners vow to find a way around it
Like a scene from the Russian version of Blazing Saddles, Gazprom’s CEO has rode into Warsaw and looked Poland anti-trust enforcement agents in the eyes. “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges.”
t appears as if Russia’s Gazprom is going to devise a way around Poland’s anti-monopoly board’s decision to reject the infamous Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Monday that he and partners Engie, OMV, Uniper, Wintershall and Shell Oil will come up with a new model for financing the construction project by year’s end. All partners confirmed their participation, there is no change in the schedule, Miller was quoted saying by newswire Tass in Moscow today.
The newswire also reported Miller saying that project participants were intent on going forward with Nord Stream 2 and that there were no changes to the construction schedule at the moment.
The move is a surprising one because all four of the European firms have operations in Poland. The Polish authorities said that adding more Russian gas supply to the Baltics would give Gazprom and its partners too big of a market share. Once it was clear that Poland would reject the project, the joint venture team pulled its application.
Germany has already approved the building of Nord Stream 2. The pipeline connects northern Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, but runs right along side an already existing pipeline, named Nord Stream 1. Energy security experts say that Europe does not need another pipeline in the north, but the north is Russia’s only way in. Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline was killed due to the ongoing political battle between Moscow and Kiev, and the Turkish Stream is only just getting started. That pipeline agreement between Gazprom and Turkey’s Botas Petroleum, was axed last year after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane over Syria. The project is still seen as carrying political risk and may yet stall, depending on the prevailing political winds blowing between Ankara and Moscow.
Meanwhile, the Nord Stream 2 consortium is going about its business.
On Monday, Nord Stream 2 and its chosen partner for concrete weight coating and pipe storage, Wasco Coatings Europe confirmed Kotka and Hanko as the project’s logistics hubs in Finland. For now, it looks like the Poland decision is only a stumbling block.