Gazprom Again Reconfigures the South Stream Project
Arvamus 23 Jun 2010  EWR
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Vladimir Socor, Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 121, June 23, 2010

Bulgaria’s suspension of the South Stream project on its territory is forcing Gazprom to reconfigure South Stream’s overall geography, with uncertain options and prospects (EDM, June 14, 18, 22). Gazprom is also reconfiguring the project’s technical and economic features. Moscow is enlisting influential allies in Western Europe, to lobby for South Stream with governments and banks. However, Gazprom is still not identifying any gas resources to supply South Stream, if and when the pipeline routes to Europe are finalized.

Gazprom’s CEO, Aleksei Miller, and Vice-President, Aleksandr Medvedev, announced the changes on June 19, to St. Petersburg Economic Forum participants. The pipeline section on the seabed of the Black Sea, projected in 2009 for an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters (bcm), is now planned to be built in stages, starting in 2013. It would consist of four parallel strings, to be laid one after the other across the seabed during an unspecified period of time. The first gas flow is promised for December 2015. While Italian ENI’s technology would build the seabed section, Gazprom would own it (Interfax, June 19).

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