South Stream pipeline project moves forward

OAO Gazprom’s board has approved the signing of a contract for the laying of the first string of the South Stream gas pipeline’s offshore section. It also has approved a pipe procurement contract for the second string of the section.

The contract for the first string will envisage the landfalls infrastructure development and the construction of production facilities for four offshore gas pipeline strings in the shore crossing areas in Russia and Bulgaria, Gazprom said.

South Stream Transport—a consortium of Gazprom, Italy’s Eni SPA, France’s Electricite de France (EDF), and Germany’s Wintershall Holding GMBHon Jan. 29 signed a contract and launched a tender among Russian and German pipe plants for the procurement of more than 75,000, 12-m pipes with a diameter of 813 m for the first string.

South Stream's offshore section will be comprised of four parallel strings laid under the Black Sea within a single routing at the depth of more than 2,200 m. Each string will be longer than 930 km.

The contracts are expected to be signed by the end of March. Gazprom plans to begin deliveries on one 15-billion cu m/year string of South Stream by yearend 2015, with a second string bringing capacity to 30 billion cu m/year in 2016 (OGJ, Feb. 3, 2014, p. 97).

The pipeline, which will stretch across the Black Sea to southern and central Europe with an expected capacity of 63 billion cu m, will reach its full design capacity in 2018. Construction on the pipeline began in December 2012 near Anapa in Krasnodar Territory (OGJ Online, Jan. 20, 2012).

Gazprom holds 50% stake in the project, Eni 20% (OGJ Online, Dec. 3, 2007; Feb. 18, 2011), and Wintershall and EDF each with 15% (OGJ Online, Sept. 17, 2009; Dec. 3, 2009).

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