None of 9 companies that Gazprom considers as its potential partners in the north European pipeline project have officially announced their participation in the project, a source in the Russian gas giant reported to RBC. Among these companies are Wintershall and Ruhrgas of Germany, Centrica and BP of the UK, Total and Gaz de France of France and UK-Dutch Shell. The source noted that Gazprom was holding negotiations and consultations with these interested parties.
Gazprom is going to invest $5.7bn in the construction of a gas pipeline from Russia via the Barents Sea to Germany and then to Great Britain. Earlier, Gazprom's Deputy CEO Alexander Ananenkov announced that the construction would start as early as in 2003 or 2004. Gazprom hopes the new pipeline will allow for closing routes via Ukraine, Belarus and Poland, where Gazprom faced political and tapping problems.