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ST PETERSBURG, June 21 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s gas giant Gazprom and GDF Suez have signed an agreement to explore possibilities for extending the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
The document was signed on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday, Gazprom said in its statement.
Within the framework of the working meeting Gazprom deputy chief Alexander Medvedev and GDF Suez deputy CEO Jean-Francois Cirelli discussed the status of gas cooperation focusing on Nord Stream.
Gazprom believes that possible extension of Nord Stream will help strengthen reliability of gas supplies to Europe and satisfy the growing demand for natural gas.
If the project comes through and one or two additional pipelines are built through the Baltic Sea, the extended arm of Nord Stream would run to Britain.
The Nord Stream will run through the Baltic Sea from Portovaya Bay near Vyborg to Germany. The annual designed capacity of the twin pipeline is 55 billion cubic meters.
The Nord Stream pipeline project is implemented by Nord Stream AG, where Gazprom owns a 51 percent stake, Wintershall Holding and E.ON Ruhrgas hold 15.5 percent each and Gasunie and GDF Suez - 9 percent each.
GDF Suez is one of Europe’s largest energy companies that was established in 2008 through a merger of Gaz de France and Suez. At present, GDF Suez’s contracted gas volume through Nord Stream totals 2.5 billion cubic meters.