Nord Stream pipeline may be extended says Putin

Russia may build a third link in the Nord Stream gas pipeline intended to bring Russian natural gas to Germany on the Baltic seabed, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

“We will build a second stage of the ESPO (Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean) pipeline, we have a large pipe maintenance market,” Putin told workers at the MMK steel plant, where he was on a visit.

“Moreover, there will be a second link of the Nord Stream pipeline, South Stream is next on the agenda and there maybe one more link of the Nord Stream pipeline,” he said.

Currently, the $11 billion Nord Stream project includes two roughly parallel pipelines with an overall annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters. The pipeline, which will bypass Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other transit energy states, is expected to be completed in 2012.

Gazprom head Alexei Miller said last month the European market may require more Russian gas and more transportation facilities. His comments came in the wake of a decision by Germany to phase out its nuclear power plants after the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan.

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