EDF, Wintershall to each get 15% in South Stream

Electricite de France (EDF) and Germany’s Wintershall will each get 15 percent and Italy’s Eni will obtain 20 percent in Russia’s $21.5-billion South Stream project, intended to deliver Central Asian and Russian natural gas to Europe under the Black Sea, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Tuesday.

He told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who presided over the filling of the Nord Stream pipeline with technical gas earlier in the day, that the companies would sign a shareholder agreement on September 16 in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

Russia plans to launch the South Stream pipeline in 2015. The pipeline will transport up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas under the Black Sea to central and southern Europe, bypassing traditional transit countries such as Ukraine, which currently is in a row with Russia over gas prices.

The Nord Stream will start pumping 27.5 bcm of gas to Germany, Britain, the Netherlands, France, Denmark and other European states at the start of October also bypassing Ukraine.

Bitter disputes over the price for Russian gas have many times left Europe without Russian imports of gas in the middle of the winter, with the latest cut happening in 2009 due to disputes with Ukraine.

The EU, which is trying to diversify its energy sources and lessen its dependence on Russia, also sponsors the rival Nabucco gas pipeline project which is supposed to pump gas from Turkmenistan.

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