“I see no influence there,” OMV Chief Executive Gerhard Roiss said in an interview with the Austrian magazine on Monday.
Roiss, whose company signed a deal with Russia's Gazprom in June to extend the South Stream pipeline to Austria, said he was sure Brussels would accept the pipeline, despite reservations voiced by EU officials.
“Europe would shoot itself in the foot if it prevents construction” of the pipeline, he was quoted as saying.
Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom sees the South Stream project plans to pipe gas across the floor of the Black Sea to Bulgaria and then ashore for onward transit to Greece, Italy and Austria as a means to diversify natural gas supplies to Europe and to reduce dependence on transit countries.
The pipeline's 900-kilometre seabed section will run from Russkaya compressor station in Russia to the Bulgarian coast at Varna at a maximum depth of more than two kilometers. The section’s designed capacity is 63 billion cubic meters and was scheduled for commissioning by the end of 2015. The Austrian part of the pipeline, which is planned to be built in 2016, will deliver its first gas supplies around the start of 2017.