Italian minister: South Stream is useful infrastructure, but not priority

South Stream Transport, a consortium between Russia’s Gazprom, Italy’s Eni S.p.A., France’s EDF, and Germany’s Wintershall, last week announced it was ready to begin offshore construction of its South Stream gas pipeline project.

The project is designed to bring Russian gas to European market through a 931 km long subsea pipeline in the Black Sea. Over its planned design life of half a century, the South Stream Offshore Pipeline is expected supply up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas each year.

However, Reuters has quoted an Italian minister who said that the project was not a national priority any more.

According to the news agency, Federica Guidi, Italian Industry Minister said that while the project was ‘a useful infrastructure’ it may have lost a priority status in Italy.

She also said that even it the South Stream indeed helps diversify the transit of gas, there is, on the other hand, there is a problem with the supplier. Worth noting, Italy’s Eni holds a 20 percent stake in the project, while Saipem, Eni’s compatriot, will take part in the construction of the pipeline.

Apart from Eni’s 20 per cent, Gazprom holds a 50% stake in the South Stream Transport joint venture, with the French energy company EDF and Germany’s Wintershall Holding GmbH (BASF Group) hold 15% each.

In a response to an e-mail seeking comment sent by Offshore Energy Today, a South Stream Transport spokesperson said: “As a commercial company, we are not in a position to comment on political statements. However, South Stream is a project backed by experienced shareholders that will contribute directly to European energy security, we are therefore confident of the commercial and strategic importance of the Project for Europe.”

 

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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