OAO Gazprom and Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD signed a protocol defining the South Stream natural gas pipeline’s entry point into the Bulgarian gas transmission system, its parameters, and further development of the project. The companies also agreed to reach a final investment decision on the project by Nov. 15.
Gazprom and Bulgarian Energy Holding also formalized earlier gas supply agreements between Russia and Bulgaria promoting an increase in gas off-takes under existing contracts. Gazprom reports supplying Bulgaria with 2.81 billion cu m (bcm) of natural gas in 2011.
South Stream, which is expected online in 2015, will transport as much as 63 bcm/year of gas across the Black Sea via two legs: the first from Russia to Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, and Italy; and the second to Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey. Turkey granted Gazprom permission to build and operate the pipeline in Turkish waters earlier this year (OGJ Online, Jan. 9, 2012).
The offshore section of South Stream will extend 900 km between Russkaya compressor station on the Russian coast and Bulgaria, reaching water depths of 2,000 m. Routing will cross the exclusive economic zones of Russia, Turkey, and Bulgaria.
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