MOSCOW, December 14 (Itar-Tass) —— Gazprom will change the route of the South Stream gas pipeline, a well-informed source told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
Earlier, Gazprom had planned that the northern branch of the South Stream should run to Austria as a terminal point. Now, the gas pipeline will have its terminal point in the north of Italy instead of Austria as earlier planned.
The change will tell on plans of the construction of the southern branch of the South Stream, which envisaged that the terminal point was to have been in the south of Italy. The source did not rule out that participants in the South Stream project might give up the construction of the southern branch of the pipeline, which was to have run through Bulgaria and Greece to the south of Italy, because the Russian gas would reach Italy in the north all the same.
Experts estimated that if the southern branch were given up altogether the design capacity of the South Stream might be considerably reduced.
The European Commission believes the South Stream gas pipeline jeopardizes its plans of reducing Europe’s dependence on the Russian gas. Austria has been intensively lobbying the Nabucco gas transportation project supported by the European Commission.