Gazprom to Give Up South Stream Offshore Leg
Russian energy giant Gazprom may give up on the construction of the offshore section of the South Stream gas pipeline to Austria.
According to reports of Russian news agency ITAR-TASS, citing a publication in Gazprom's corporate magazine, the conduit will start at the Russian coast of the Black Sea near Anapa and end in the northeastern Italian city of Tarvisio.
South Stream's first gas delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2016.
The first section of the gas pipeline is to be launched by end-2015.
The construction of the pipeline is to be wrapped up by 2019, allowing the conduit to function at its full capacity of 63 billion cubic meters.
The participants in the offshore stretch of the project are Russia's Gazprom, France's EDF, Italy's ENI and Germany's Wintershall.
The companies plan to start building the offshore section in 2012.
The conduit will cross the Black Sea seabed, Turkey's exclusive economic zone and will surface on the Bulgarian coast near Varna, with branch-off lines via Serbia and Hungary to Slovenia and Austria and via Greece to Italy.
Gazprom does not exclude the option of expanding the offshore section by including Macedonia, according to Bulgarian daily 24 Hours.
Two days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov discussed the construction of the Bulgarian section of the South Stream gas pipeline.
The two exchanged views on the trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Bulgaria and on steps to deepen their energy partnership.
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