Energy company Wintershall, a subsidiary of German chemicals group BASF, said Friday it planned to help Russia's Gazprom enlarge the Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.
"BASF subsidiary Wintershall intends to participate in expanding the capacities of the Nord Stream pipeline, which delivers Russian natural gas to European customers via the Baltic Sea," it said in a statement.
Wintershall with its memorandum of understanding joins Anglo-Dutch Shell, Germany's E.ON and Austria's OMV in plans to build two new pipelines with a capacity of 55 billion cubic metres per year, the statement said.
Russia and the West have been locked in a bitter standoff over Moscow's role in the Ukraine conflict.
Russia has sought more routes to deliver its gas to the European Union avoiding crisis-hit Ukraine, despite the 28-nation bloc insisting it wants to cut its energy dependence on Russia.
In the statement, Gazprom deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev said the project "will help to further improve the security of the gas supply for the European continent".
BASF executive board member Hans-Ulrich Engel said the company "looks forward to working with Gazprom and further European partners on this important infrastructure project".
The first two Nord Stream lines, in which Wintershall has a 15.5 percent stake, were opened in 2012.