The European Union will not impose unreasonable limits on the South Stream pipeline project, designed to carry gas to Europe under the Black Sea, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said on Wednesday.
The EU will not create either bureaucratic barriers or unreasonable limits, Oettinger said during a presentation on the project adding that Russia and the EU would be fair partners.
The $21.5 billion pipeline, which will transport up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, is developed by Italy's Eni and Russian gas giant Gazprom, which produces and transports the blue fuel.
One potential threat to the project is the EU's third energy package legislation, which orders the separation of gas sales and transportation businesses and requires provision of access for third parties to gas transportation facilities.
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 will pump gas from Turkmenistan.
Russia plans to launch South Stream in 2015. Nabucco remains at the planning stage.
"The construction of the South Stream will not increase Gazprom's share on the European market. Some of the gas which it will carry to the EU, is now being delivered via other routes," Marcel Kramer, who heads South Stream's operating company.
Gazprom supplies Europe with a quarter of its gas.
BRUSSELS, May 25 (RIA Novosti)