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    Gazprom, Eni to give each 10% of South Stream shares to French EDF - Putin

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    Russia's energy giant Gazprom and Italy's Eni will each give 10% of their shares in the South Stream gas pipeline project to French EDF, the Russian premier said.

    Russia's energy giant Gazprom and Italy's Eni will each give 10% of their shares in the South Stream gas pipeline project to French EDF, the Russian premier said.

    South Stream is designed to pump 63 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas annually to Bulgaria, Italy and Austria.

    "This will be a coordinated step by us and the Italians," Vladimir Putin told journalists who asked how the French company would acquire 20% in the project.

    Putin said on Monday that an agreement on France's Electricite de France (EDF) becoming a project shareholder is due to be signed in June in Russia's second largest city of St. Petersburg. EDF will acquire some 20% in the project.

    The pipeline is due to go into operation by the end of 2015. It will run under the Black Sea from the Russian port city of Novorossiysk to the Bulgarian port of Varna.

    Russia is also building the Nord Stream gas pipeline to carry 55 billion cu m of Russian natural gas annually to Western Europe under the Baltic Sea.

    The intergovernmental agreement with Austria was signed in the presence of Putin and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann. The agreement is the last document necessary for the project's go-ahead.

     

    KIEV, April 27 (RIA Novosti)

     

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