South Stream expects first gas from Russia to Bulgaria in late 2015

Pipelay for South Stream Line 2 will begin in mid-2015, with first natural gas flow from Line 1 following later that year. Trond Gjedrem, materials manager for South Stream Transport BV, made these remarks May 12 at the Pipeline Technology Conference in Berlin, despite the European Parliament having voted last month that South Stream should not be built.

Also since this vote, OAO Gazprom and Austria-based OMV AG agreed to construction terms allowing South Stream gas to reach Austria by 2017 (OGJ Online, Apr. 30, 2014).

The subsea portion of South Stream will cover 911 km across the Black Sea from Russia to Bulgaria, with four parallel 15.75 billion cu m (bcm)/year lines planned for a total finished operating capacity of 66 bcm/year. New strings would be brought on in staggered succession following Line 1, Gjedrem continued, with Line 2 starting in 2016, Line 3 in early 2017, and Line 4 in late 2017.

Line 1 will use S-lay installation for the landfall segments in both Russia and Bulgaris, with the Saipem 7000 preforming J-lay for the 800-km section of 2,200-m water depth. Multiple 32-in. OD lines were chosen for the project instead of a single larger line due to pressures in water that deep. South Stream expects to lay 2-3 km/day. Each line will use 75,000 joints of pipe.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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