April 21, 2009

Gazprom to sign pipeline agreements

The Russian energy giant Gazprom said it will sign agreements with Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece on its South Stream gas pipeline to Europe.

Alexander Medvedev, the deputy director of Gazprom, told the Bulgarian Vesti TV channel Tuesday that all technical and economic assessments of the $13 billion South Stream project are to be completed this year when agreements with the three Balkan countries should be signed.

Medvedev said Gazprom will urge the European Union to place the South Stream pipeline -- transporting Russian gas under the Black Sea and across the Balkans to Europe -- on its priority list, the Sofia News Agency SNA said.

Gazprom and the Italian Eni oil and gas company plan to build the South Stream pipeline, which would bypass Ukraine "“the biggest and politically troubled route for Russian gas to Europe.

Russia and Serbia have reached a political agreement on the South Stream pipeline and Gazprom secured the participation of Bulgaria, Hungary and Greece in the project.