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Work on Russian South Stream deep-sea pipeline stretch to start in November

May 23, 2014, 13:14 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG

Funding for the maritime section of the South Stream gas pipeline projects is to be determined by the end of 2014

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© ITAR-TASS/Ruslan Shamukov

ST. PETERSBURG, May 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will start laying the deep-sea section of the South Stream gas pipeline intended to diversify its natural gas supply routes to Europe in November. Oleg Aksyutin, head of South Stream Transport, the project operator, said this on Friday.

The laying of pipes in shallow waters will start a little earlier and envisages a pipe line-up in the sea, he said.

Russian energy giant Gazprom is implementing the South Stream gas pipeline project to cut Russia’s dependence on transit countries, such as Ukraine.

Funding for the maritime section of the South Stream gas pipeline projects is to be determined by the end of 2014, Oleg Aksyutin added.

Now talks are being held with insurance credit agencies. Participants in the project is to be determined by the yearend, he said.

A total of 70% will be paid owing to loans, Aksyutin said.

The South Stream project

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.

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 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 pipeline’s commercial deliveries of natural gas to Europe are expected to start in the first quarter of 2016.

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