1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Nord Stream 2 investor Wintershall awaiting compensation

February 24, 2022

The German oil company expects to be paid back the hundreds of millions in loans toward the project should the contentious gas pipeline ultimately never be switched on.

Deutschland | Nord Stream 2
Construction of the pipeline has already been completedImage: Jens Büttner/dpa/picture alliance

German gas and oil firm Wintershall Dea said on Thursday that it expects to be compensated after Chancellor Olaf Scholz blocked the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Wintershall Dea was one of the main investors is the project, which is based in Switzerland but wholly owned by Russian state energy giant Gazprom.

The pipeline would have funneled natural gas from Russia to Germany, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas for heating and industry.

Scholz has indefinitely blocked the pipeline over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Following the move, the US government announced it would sanction Nord Stream 2's holding company and its directors.

Germany halts Nord Stream 2

"Currently, Wintershall Dea sees no reasonable scenario in which there will be political intervention without compensation," the company said.

Wintershall Dea had backed the €10 billion ($11.2 billion) project with a loan of €730 million, which it deemed "unlikely" not to be repaid.

German energy company Uniper, France's Engie, the Anglo-Dutch firm Shell and Austria's OMV have also backed the pipeline.

Economic Affairs and Climate Action Minister Robert Habeck told public television on Tuesday that it "would have been smarter not to build Nord Stream 2".

Wintershall Dea is majority owned by the German chemicals giant BASF and has numerous activities in Russia's western Siberia region.

The company's CEO, Mario Mehren, said in a statement that Wintershall was observing the military incursion in Ukraine "with great concern and dismay." He said many of the staff hailed from either Russia or Ukraine originally and were particularly affected. "Especially for them, but also for all of us, this escalation on the orders of the Russian government is a heavy blow," he said. 

es/msh (AFP, dpa)