Gazprom to build South Stream with maximum pumping volume

Feb 22, 2012 12:00 AM

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev instructed Gazprom to build the South Stream gas pipeline intended to carry natural gas to Europe with a maximum annual capacity of 63 bn cm.
“What we witnessed at the beginning of the year (severe cold in Europe and Russia) is sufficient ground to instruct Gazprom to focus on the maximum pumping volume of gas through the South Stream gas pipeline construction,” Medvedev said at a meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller.

Faced with severe weather conditions, some EU states complained in late January and early February that they were receiving less gas from Russia than expected; however, Gazprom, which supplies a quarter of Europe's gas imports, said it was delivering as much gas as it could under current contracts. The two parties prevented a crisis in gas supplies and blue fuel deliveries returned to contract volumes after a week or two.
The South Stream pipeline is intended to transport up to 63 bn cm of natural gas to central and southern Europe, diversifying Russian gas routes away from transit countries such as Ukraine.

Construction will start in December 2012, and not 2013 as previously planned. Russia plans to launch South Stream in 2015. Last December, Turkey gave Russia the final go-ahead needed to build the pipeline. Miller said that Gazprom had completed a feasibility study of the project.
“We are ready to start construction in December this year.”

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