Gazprom Ends Plan To Build Pipeline To Italy

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
South Stream gas pipeline

 

Gazprom has abandoned plans to build a section of its disputed South Stream gas pipeline to Italy, two sources close to the company said on Wednesday, a day after Gazprom announced a deal with OMV to build a branch to Austria.

The memorandum of understanding with the Austrian oil and gas company foresees building a section of the giant pipeline from Hungary to OMV's Central European Gas Hub near Vienna.

"The additional Italian spur option was effectively ditched. Gas will now be delivered to the Austrian hub, from where it could go to many destinations in Europe along the existing pipelines," one of the sources said.

"Without the Italian spur, the project's costs will drop by as much as $1 billion."

Gazprom is pushing ahead with South Stream, whose total construction costs are estimated at around $40 billion, despite Western sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

Neither Gazprom nor its chief executive, Alexei Miller, a long-standing ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, have been targeted by the sanctions.

Italy signalled on Wednesday it still supported the South Stream project. "The project is not frozen," a government spokesman told Reuters, denying an earlier report.

Earlier on Wednesday, a government source said the project had effectively been put on ice, adding that Rome would focus on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which will transport Azeri gas, and the ITGI Interconnector pipeline through Turkeyand Greece into Italy.

The South Stream's proposed 2,500 km (1,500) route stretches from Russia under the Black Sea through Bulgaria and Serbia to Hungary and now Austria. It bypasses Ukraine, through which almost half the gas Europe buys from Russia currently passes.

Europe is worried about its dependence on Russian gas, which accounts for around a third of EU imports, particularly after Russian-Ukrainian gas disputes in 2005 and 2009 led to supply disruptions. But the bloc has yet to come up with a realistic alternative.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, says South Stream does not comply with its regulations on ownership and pipeline access and put the approval process on hold following Russia's annexation of Crimea in March.

A commission spokeswoman on Wednesday said she could not comment on the proposed route of South Stream.

Some European leaders see South Stream as a solution to avoid future potential supply disruptions.

Italy's Eni is one of Gazprom's partners for the offshore part of South Stream, along with Germany's Wintershall and France's EDF.

Eni Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said last month the project's future had been called into question by the escalating dispute over Ukraine, which could complicate an already complex permitting process in the different transit countries.

EFFICIENT OPTION

Gazprom and OMV said on Tuesday they would rely on a 2010 intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Austria as the legal basis for their deal.

South Stream is designed to have a total capacity of 63 billion cubic metres per year, enough to meet about 13 percent of EU gas consumption, and the Austrian section would have half that capacity, OMV and Gazprom said.

Some of the gas from Russia could flow to markets such as Turkey, Bulgaria orHungary before reaching the Austrian border.

Bringing South Stream to Austria would be a bittersweet victory for OMV. In a contest to bring Azeri gas to Europe, OMV's Nabucco consortium lost out to the rival TAP, which ends in southern Italy.

EU support for Nabucco West faded as South Stream, with its similar route through central Europe, moved closer to reality.

South Stream is also a potential way for OMV to import gas from any future Black Sea discoveries of its own, which it says may prove to be its biggest ever.

Following the selection of TAP as the pipeline for Azeri gas, the need for a second major pipeline such as South Stream to deliver gas to Italy, an already oversupplied and depressed market, has decreased.

"One of the main reasons (for switching the end point to Austria) was the fact that consumption in Italy has fallen significantly compared to the years when the project was first designed," the Gazprom source said. "Delivering gas to the Austrian hub is a very efficient option."

(Additional reporting by Alberto Sisto in Rome and Stephen Jewkes in Milan; Writing by Georgina Prodhan; editing by Jane Baird and Leslie Adler)


Legal

MN100: MOPS Marine License Insurance

The Company: Since 1935, MOPS Marine License Insurance has defended the USCG licenses of mariners operating in every maritime sector in the United States. Its network of over 80 maritime law firms,

OSV firm Farstad Continues Restructuring Talks

Supply firm Farstad Shipping's CEO Karl Johan Bakken repeats is in stand-still agreement with lenders until Oct. 1   Notable disclosures: * CEO says is talking

Banks Halt Support for Hanjin

A bankruptcy would be biggest ever for a container shipper. Hanjin Shipping Co's banks are halting support for the South Korean company, its lead creditor said,

Finance

OSV firm Farstad Continues Restructuring Talks

Supply firm Farstad Shipping's CEO Karl Johan Bakken repeats is in stand-still agreement with lenders until Oct. 1   Notable disclosures: * CEO says is talking

Banks Halt Support for Hanjin

A bankruptcy would be biggest ever for a container shipper. Hanjin Shipping Co's banks are halting support for the South Korean company, its lead creditor said,

China Cosco Sinks into Red

Dragged by lackluster freight rates in the maritime transport market during the first half of 2016, China Cosco Holdings logged a 7.2 billion yuan ($1.07 billion) net loss for the January-June half,

Energy

Jt Study by MOL, Yokohama University for Improving Ocean Shipping Market Forecast

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced that the company and its subsidiary MOL Information Systems, Ltd. have signed a contract with Yokohama National University

DNV GL Launches New Approach to Manage Uncertainty in Risk Assessment

There is increasing emphasis from regulators on addressing uncertainty in risk assessments to improve safety. DNV GL’s new paper, ‘Enabling confidence – addressing uncertainty in risk assessments’,

Gasum, Wärtsilä Join Forces to develop Gas Value Chain

New joint co-operation between Gasum and Wärtsilä aims to develop the utilization and distribution of natural energy gases in marine and land markets. Gasum,

LNG

BV Classes First LNG-fuel Oil/Chemical Tanker

Leading international classification society Bureau Veritas has classed the first LNG-fuelled newbuilding oil/chemical tanker, the 15,000 dwt Ternsund, built under BV class at Avic Dingheng,

SK Shipping Selects 5X72DF for LNG Carriers

Securing the position of its low-speed low-pressure X‑DF engines as market leaders, Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) has been selected to supply two 5-cylinder X72DF

NASSCO Christens LNG-ready Tanker Constitution

On Saturday, August 27, shipbuilders at General Dynamics NASSCO celebrated the christening and launch of the Constitution, the sixth ship in a series of eight eco-friendly

News

Abu Dhabi Ship Building Commissions First Floating Dock

Abu Dhabi Ship Building PJSC (ADSB) has commissioned its first floating drydock located in Mina Zayed as the company looks to expand its commercial service offering.

NAT Names 2 New Tankers in South Korea

wo new tankers, Nordic Star and Nordic Space, were named August 24 for owner Nordic American Tankers Limited (NAT).   NAT founder and chairman Herbjørn Hansson was present at the naming ceremony,

Wounded Lobsterman Medevaced near Cape Cope

An injured lobsterman was medically evacuated by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew Tuesday roughly 130 nautical miles east of Cape Cod.   At about 10:15 a.m.,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1072 sec (9 req/sec)