Russian energy company Gazprom plans to start transporting gas through the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline this year, once the project is finished, the company said on Thursday.
Gazprom aims to pump 5.6 billion cubic metres of Russian gas through the controversial pipeline to Germany, which is nearly complete.
The pipeline is divisive as it will bypass Ukraine, which relies on gas transit revenues.
Washington has also criticized the project as increasing Germany’s dependency on Moscow.
Work laying the pipes was due to be completed by the end of August, the company had said earlier. It has not yet stated when it is due to start operations.
Gas prices fell following Gazprom’s announcement, according to Russian news agency Interfax.
Nord Stream 2 runs from Vyborg in Russia through the Baltic Sea to Lubmin near Greifswald in the north-eastern German state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern.
Gazprom said 33.7 billion cubic metres of gas has already been pumped through the Nord Stream pipeline in the first seven months of the year, an increase compared to the same period last year.
However, 2020 was a record year, with gas deliveries reaching a total of 59.3 billion cubic metres.
Once complete, the new pipeline is expected to transport 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year from Russia to Germany.