Nord Stream gas pipeline construction begins

Construction of the 1,200-km Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, which will extend through the Baltic Sea from Vyborg, Russia, to Greifswald, Germany, began Apr. 9.

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Apr. 9 -- Construction of the 1,200-km Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, which will extend through the Baltic Sea from Vyborg, Russia, to Greifswald, Germany, began Apr. 9. Russia’s Gazprom projects completion of the first 27.5 billion cu m/year Nord Stream line in 2011, with a parallel line of the same capacity to follow in 2012. The line will pass through Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish, and German waters.

Nord Stream AG says pipe laying for the line’s first construction phase will be carried out through April 2011 by Saipem SPA’s Castoro 6 and Castoro 10 as well as Allseas Group SA’s Solitaire.

The Castoro 6 semisubmersible will execute the bulk of pipe laying operations at an average of 2.5 km/day. It will be joined in September by the dynamically positioned Solitaire. Castoro 10 will operate near landfall in Germany during this year’s second half.

In February, Gazprom announced a 3-year production delay to 2016 from its Shtokman gas field (OGJ Online, Feb. 8, 2010). Shtokman is to be one of the supply sources for Nord Stream.

Russia is building 900 km of surface pipelines to feed Nord Stream, with the 470-km Opal connection pipeline also under construction in Germany. The Czech Republic is reinforcing its gas transmission system to accommodate Nord Stream supplies (OGJ, Apr. 5, 2010, p. 62).

Nord Stream AG is a joint venture of Gazprom 51%, Wintershall Holding 20%, E.On Ruhrgas 20%, and Gasunie 9%. On Mar. 1, Gazprom and GDF Suez signed a memorandum by which the French company will also acquire a 9% interest in Nord Stream. The interest will be pulled equally from Winterhall and E.On Ruhrgas (OGJ, Mar. 8, 2010, p. 11).

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

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