The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning of Turkey approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report and issued a positive opinion of the EIA results for South Stream's offshore section in Turkey.
The Report contains the assessment of potential environmental impacts caused by the gas pipeline construction, including the impact on the seabed geology, water quality and marine ecology. The document concludes that the project will have no considerable effect on the Black Sea environment or the regional fishing industry. In addition, the Report proposes a number of measures aimed at eliminating or mitigating any environmental impacts of the project. For example, the gas pipeline bypasses certain locations of shipwrecks. Such measures are already incorporated in the design documents for the gas pipeline construction.
South Stream's offshore section will run at a distance of over 110 kilometers offshore Turkey at a depth reaching 2,200 meters. The first string of the offshore gas pipeline in Russia's territorial waters will be laid starting from late 2014. The first pipelaying vessel will enter the Turkish exclusive economic zone in the first quarter of 2015. The first offshore pipeline will be commissioned by late 2015.
South Stream is Gazprom's global infrastructure project aimed at constructing a gas pipeline with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters across the Black Sea to Southern and Central Europe for the purpose of diversifying the natural gas export routes and eliminating transit risks. At present the gas pipeline construction is underway in Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia. First gas via South Stream will be supplied to European consumers in late 2015. The gas pipeline will reach its full capacity in 2018.
The pipeline's offshore section will comprise four strings, over 930 kilometer long each, laid under the Black Sea within a single routing at the depth of more than 2,200 meters. South Stream's offshore section is constructed by South Stream Transport, a joint project company with Gazprom holding a 50 per cent share, Italian Eni – 20 per cent, German Wintershall and French EDF – 15 per cent each.