First North Stream gas pipeline completed: consortium

May 05, 2011 by Aurelia End
Workers prepare a metal pipeline aboard the Solitaire ship to be installed in the Finnish Gulf, 200 kms (125 miles) west of St. Petersburg in 2010. The first of two North Stream gas pipelines, due to pump gas from Russia to Germany by way of the Baltic Sea, bypassing eastern Europe, has been completed, the consortium building it announced on Thursday.

The first of two North Stream gas pipelines, due to pump gas from Russia to Germany by way of the Baltic Sea, bypassing eastern Europe, has been completed, the consortium building it announced on Thursday.

The 1,224-kilometre (760-mile) undersea pipeline is due to start pumping by the end of the year, the consortium said in a statement.

"Europe will soon have the security of the privately financed, 7.4 billion euros ($10.9 billion) North Stream project providing a fixed link between the European gas grid and some of the world’s largest gas reserves in for at least 50 years," North Stream’s managing director Matthias Warnig.

In 2012, when the second pipeline has been completed, Russia will be able to pump 55 billion cubic metres (1.9 billion cubic feet) of gas per year to consumers in western Europe, enough to supply 26 million homes, according to North Stream.

The consortium is a joint venture between the Russian energy giant Gazprom, the German firms BASF and E.ON, the Dutch firm Nederlandse Gasunie and the French GDP Suez.

Gazprom controls one-fourth of the world's gas reserves and is responsible for about eight percent of Russia's gross domestic product. It provides a quarter of all the gas consumed by Europe.

North Stream links the Russian city of Vyborg and Greifswald in , running through Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish and German waters.

The pipeline has been laid out in three sections which must still be connected before pressure tests are carried out over the summer.

"In July the gas will be put into the pipeline and in October-November our European customers will get gas," Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in April in Denmark.

It is hoped that the pipeline will avoid a repetition of supply problems in recent years when bilateral rows, notably between Russia and Ukraine, affected delivery of Russian gas to Europe.

Poland and the Baltic states have long expressed concern over the project, fearing they will be left alone when bargaining with Russia for their own overland gas deliveries. Critics claim the Kremlin uses its energy clout as a strategic tool.

Gazprom is also involved in a second gas pipeline project -- South Stream due to link southern Russia to southern Europe by way of a link under the Black Sea.

This project, which also involves Italy's ENI energy group, has recently been joined by the German BASF subsidiary already involved in North Stream. France's EDF electricity group is also expected to join later this year.

South Stream, which is not expected to see the light before late 2015, must however still receive a green light from Turkey which is itself involved in another gas pipeline project -- Nabucco -- backed by the European Union and the United States.

The path Nabucco is supposed to take, from the Caspian Sea via Turkey and eastern Europe, bypasses both Russia and Ukraine.

This project however has so far failed to sign up any producer countries in central Asia, and EU officials have suggested Moscow is putting pressure on them not to sign up.

Explore further: Indians rally against climate change ahead of UN talks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Russia, Finland sign Nord Stream agreement

Dec 10, 2010

Russia vowed Friday to keep Finland fully informed about the environmental impact from the controversial Nord Stream natural gas pipeline to Europe it is currently building under the Baltic Sea.

Study: Russian gas to fall short of EU demand

Feb 18, 2010

The political ramifications of dependence on Russian natural gas are a current, lively topic of debate within the EU. One issue that deserves more attention is whether sufficient gas will even be available for export to the ...

Russia's Arctic holds 100 Bln tons of oil, gas

Sep 21, 2010

(AP) -- Russia's Arctic territories are estimated to contain up to 100 billion tons of oil and gas and the nation needs to defend its claim to those riches, a Cabinet minister said Tuesday.

Natural gas in the Arctic is mostly Russian

May 29, 2009

(AP) -- Nearly one-third of the natural gas yet to be discovered in the world is north of the Arctic Circle and most of it is in Russian territory, according to a new analysis led by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey.

Deep sea pipelines to green gas production

Oct 10, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Queensland researchers are working to tap into a wealth of natural gas resources located in distant, deep-ocean fields off the coast of Western Australia.

Recommended for you

Green dream: Can UN summit revive climate issue?

18 hours ago

Five years ago, the environment movement was in its heyday as politicians, actors, rock stars and protestors demanded a looming UN summit brake the juggernaut of climate change.

Rio's Olympic golf course in legal bunker

Sep 18, 2014

The return of golf to the Olympics after what will be 112 years by the time Rio hosts South America's first Games in 2016 comes amid accusations environmental laws were got round to build the facility in ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

frajo
not rated yet May 06, 2011
The fact that the US backs the Nabucco pipeline confirms the suspicion that this is mainly a political project with the aim to get more influence in a geostrategically important region. The gas supplier for the Nabucco line would be Turkmenistan, one of the worst offenders of human rights. Magically, however, Turkmenistan is not bombed by NATO or US.