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UPDATE 1-Nord Stream 2 says work in Danish waters to resume on Jan. 15, TASS reports

14 Jan 2021 / 23:22 H.

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    MOSCOW, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The Russia-led Nord Stream 2 consortium said on Thursday that work to lay its subsea gas pipeline to Germany would resume in Danish waters on Jan. 15, the TASS news agency reported, despite pressure from the United States for construction to stop.

    Russia said on Wednesday it was confident of completing the project, although two sources said the U.S. State Department had this month told European companies suspected of helping to build the pipeline that they faced possible sanctions.

    Nord Stream 2 has not responded to a request for comment.

    A Danish maritime regulator said last month construction work would resume in Danish waters in mid-January, with a vessel called Fortuna laying the pipes.

    Nord Stream 2, designed to double capacity of the existing undersea Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, has become a point of contention between Moscow and Washington, with the United States seeking to cut Europe's reliance on Russian energy.

    The United States also plans to increase sales of shipments of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe.

    The group behind the pipeline suspended works in December 2019 due to the threat of sanctions from Washington. It resumed construction last month in shallow German waters.

    The consortium, led by Russian gas giant Gazprom, still has to lay more than 100 km (62 miles) of the pipeline, which will have annual capacity to pump 55 billion cubic metres of gas. More than 90% of the project has been completed.

    Gazprom's western partners in the project, which is estimated to cost 9.5 billion euros ($11.5 billion), are Germany's Uniper, BASF's Wintershall Dea , Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell, Austria's OMV and French energy company Engie.

    ($1 = 0.8254 euros) (Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Writing by Alexander Marrow and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Susan Fenton and Edmund Blair)

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