14:58 08.10.2012

Memorandum on new Nord Stream lines to be signed by Feb 2013 - Gazprom's Miller

3 min read

A memorandum on new Nord Stream lines will be signed by January 31, 2013, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said at a ceremony to launch the gas pipeline's second line.

Nord Stream, the operator of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which runs through the Baltic Sea from Russia's Vyborg region to the coast of Germany in the Greifswald region, has deemed it technically and economically feasible to build third and fourth Nord Stream lines.

"The research confirms that the building of one or two additional gas pipeline lines is possible from a technical and an environmental standpoint, and from the point of view of raising the necessary financing on the banking market," Nord Stream said in a press release.

Asked what would be the starting point for the third and fourth lines, a source with knowledge of the project's implementation said, "The pipe will not run through Portovaya, it will run through the Kingisepp region."

Two pipes have already been built through the Neva, and there is nowhere else to build anymore. "The possibility exists on one shore, but it doesn't exist on the other," the source said. A Nord Stream source said that the lines will come ashore in Germany "at practically the same place where the first and second lines come ashore."

Nord Stream's shareholder committee has decided to further develop the project in the framework of a new company, to be created in the first quarter of 2013. They based their decision on their successful experience in implementing the Nord Stream gas pipeline's two branches. Until that time, the company shareholders will decide on their participation in the project, Nord Stream said.

Gazprom owns 51% of the Nord Stream AG consortium, German companies BASF SE/Wintershall Holding GmbH and E.ON Ruhrgas AG own 15.5% each, and Dutch company N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and French company GDF SUEZ have 9% each.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said not long ago that BP had expressed interest in the laying of a Nord Stream line to Britain and obtaining gas from it.

Miller also said that the ranks of those involved in the building of other Nord Stream lines could vary. "For different sections of this route there could be different shareholders. It can be assumed that the shareholder make-up for the offshore sections of the first and second lines, like the third and fourth lines, could remain the same, [or] it could change somewhat. One can assume that for the line that will run across continental Europe the current Nord Stream AG shareholders will remain as before, and for the fourth line, which will have new target markets, particularly Britain, there could be different shareholders," Miller said.

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