The recent frictions between Gazprom and the European Union over the South Stream gas pipeline project have raised the question whether at all it's going to be completed. Numerous research offers different scenarios, from most favorable to the ones described as “the divorce of the century,” which may turn South Stream into Russia's version of Nabucco. However, most analysts are rather optimistic in their forecasts
From the very start of the South Stream story, when the Chief Executive Officer of Italy's Eni Paolo Scaroni and Gazprom's Vice-Chairman Alexander Medvedev signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of a new natural gas pipeline in Rome seven years ago, the rival Nabucco pipeline was considered to be the key implication that the project might see in the future.
There are currently four shareholders in the South Stream natural gas pipeline project. Gazprom is partnering with three European energy majors – Italy's Eni, France's EDF and Germany's BASF through its hydrocarbon subsidiary Wintershall. The latter is one of Gazprom's partners in the Nord Stream pipeline project on the Baltic seabed as well as in some gas field developments in Siberia.
The South Stream gas pipeline is planned to span over 2,300 km and cross multiple countries and various geographies. The pipeline's route has been changed several times since it was officially announced back in 2007. Currently, six European countries are involved in the project.
South Stream is a project to build natural gas pipeline, which is designed to transport 63 billion cubic meters of Russian gas per year into central and southern Europe. Involving seven countries and extending 925 km across the Black Sea through Turkish territorial waters, the South Stream pipeline represents one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever.