MOSCOW, June 27 (RIA Novosti) - The South Stream gas project is in the interests of the countries involved and in the end will be completed, CEO of Russian gas giant Gazprom Alexei Miller said at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders Friday.
“South Stream meets the economic interests of all participating countries and will be built. We are now taking steps with our partners to complete the work on schedule,” Miller said.
“In late 2015, the first gas will be delivered via South Stream,” the Gazprom CEO stated, adding that the laying of pipes along the floor of the Black Sea is to begin this autumn.
“With the launch of South Stream, offshore gas pipelines will provide two-thirds of our export supplies,” Miller said.
EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said earlier this week that construction of the South Stream pipeline should be suspended until the project complies with EU Third Package rules. The European Commission insists that companies involved in gas production cannot be the owners of long-distance pipelines in the region. Gazprom believes the EU is attempting to discriminate the Russian company.
South Stream is to carry Russian natural gas to export destinations in southern Europe across the Black Sea, bypassing Ukraine. Construction on the project started in 2012 as a move to diversify export routes for the Russian gas. Total capacity of the pipeline is estimated at up to 63 billion cubic meters. South Stream is expected to become fully operational in 2018.