21 October 2011, 14:07

Gas to Europe, transit-free

Gas to Europe, transit-free
Download audio file

Russia’s Gazprom is looking into the possibility of laying a third and fourth lines of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which will run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea from Russia directly to Europe. A statement to this effect was made by Gazprom’s deputy chief Alexander Medvedev.

Russia’s Gazprom is looking into the possibility of laying a third and fourth lines of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which will run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea from Russia directly to Europe. A statement to this effect was made by Gazprom’s deputy chief Alexander Medvedev.

Russia is ready to supply Europe with as much gas as it needs, Alexander Medvedev said. Moreover, depending on the demand, Gazprom and partners are prepared to build the required number of gas pipelines besides the Nord and South Streams. As becomes clear from the first two lines of the Nord Stream, Russia’s potential is huge enough, so it’s up to the Europeans to make their choice.

Alexander Medvedev’s statement fully agrees with Gazprom’s development strategy concerning oil and gas exports, says Alexander Pasechnik, who runs the analytical department at the National Energy Security Foundation.

"According to European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger, Europe does not rule out an increase in gas supplies in the foreseeable future. Russia is expected to supply an extra 25-30 billion cubic meters. Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev suggested a third and fourth line of the Nord Stream during his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July. Germany’s reaction was cautious. Mrs.Merkel said that Germany does not need extra gas supplies from Russia despite the government’s plans to replace nuclear energy with gas generation plants in the future. For now, Germany needs no extra gas. But the demand for gas is bound to grow. So Gazprom is demonstrating readiness to bolster gas contacts with Europe."

The first line of the Nord Stream will go into operation on November 8th . Despite fierce criticism from transit countries, the pipeline will be put into service according to schedule. Process gas began to fill the first pipe in September. The second line will be completed next year. A total of 55 billion cubic meters of gas will be pumped via the Nord Stream annually, reaching out to 26 million households across the EU. Nord Stream’s partners are Russia, Germany, Holland and France.

Europe understood the benefits of direct supplies from Russia in connection with differences between Moscow and Kiev over the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine. Vitaly Gromadin of the Arbat Capital Group, comments.

"As appears from Russia’s cooperation with Germany, the project is successful enough. Germany is not wary of its dependence on Gazprom. German companies are ready for cooperation on the South Stream project as well and Russia is welcomed to build power stations in Germany. Gazprom is thus encouraged to take part in all stages of production, so the time is right for starting a third line."

Russia is planning to ramp up its presence in the Asian energy market. During their meeting on October 20th, Russian foreign ministry officials and Shell representatives discussed the prospects of partnership in Asia, including in innovation and advanced technology.

  •  
    and share via