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BRUSSELS, January 24. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian-EC working group on South Stream is not discussing the revision of the existing agreements, Russian permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Friday.
The group gathered for a session, which involved Russian Deputy Energy Anatoly Yanovsky and EU Director General for Energy Dominique Ristori, Chizhov said.
“The parties discussed further cooperation. The group will meet one more, but the date has not been specified yet. This will depend on both parties’ readiness,” the Russian ambassador said.
“The talks will mainly focus on ways to combine the Russian and EU obligations under the intergovernmental agreements. This is not an easy task. The six countries addressed the European Commission to represent their interests,” he said, adding “The parties agreed on further work. No one waited for one meeting to yield to any result. The parties also show readiness for further work. Frankly speaking, the issue is not burning because the construction continues.”
Separate meeting may be held within discussions, Chizhov said.
The second session of the intergovernmental group for South Stream will be held in February, the European Commission’s press service reported on the results of the first meeting of the group.
South Stream, which will be jointly built by Gazprom and ENI, will eventually take 30 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to southern Europe. Analysts have said that the project will cost around 10 billion euro, or 15.82 billion U.S. dollars.
The project stipulates for the offshore gas pipeline section to run under the Black Sea from the Russkaya compressor station on the Russian coast to the Bulgarian coast. The total length of the offshore section will be around 900 kilometers, the maximum depth - over two kilometers and the design capacity - 63 billion cubic meters. There are two optional routes for the onshore gas pipeline section: either north-westwards or south-westwards from Bulgaria.
In order to feed the required amount of gas to South Stream, Russia's gas transmission system throughput will be increased through the construction of additional 2,446 kilometers of line-pipe and 10 compressor stations with the total capacity of 1,473 MW. This project has been named South Corridor and will be implemented in two phases before December 2019.
South Stream is scheduled to become operational in 2013. The 900-kilometer-long undersea section of the pipeline will run from the gas compressor facility at Beregovaya, on Russia's Black Sea coast, near Arkhipo-Osipovka, towards the city of Burgas, in Bulgaria. The sea's maximum depth on this route is 2,000 meters.
South Stream is a strategic project for Europe's energy security and should be implemented by the end of 2015. Work is currently underway to draft a feasibility study for the marine section across the Black Sea and the surface section running through transit countries.
The overall capacity of the marine section of the pipeline will be 63 billion cubic meters per year. Its cost is about 8.6 billion euro.