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24

New gas pipeline for Europe

In spite of the fact that in September during the Baltic forum in Saint Petersburg the chairman of board of Open Society " Gazprom ", Alexey Miller, has stated the assumption that realization of the civil-engineering design of the North-European gas pipeline will begin in 2006-2007, at the session on November 18 the board of Open Society " Gazprom " has made a decision to begin realization of the project, having recognized its economically expedient.

In spite of the fact that in September during the Baltic forum in Saint Petersburg the chairman of board of Open Society " Gazprom ", Alexey Miller, has stated the assumption that realization of the civil-engineering design of the North-European gas pipeline will begin in 2006-2007, at the session on November 18 the board of Open Society " Gazprom " has made a decision to begin realization of the project, having recognized its economically expedient. During realization of the project the experience of Gazprom acquired during construction of " Blue stream " (a gas main at the bottom of Black sea) is planned to be used. The plan of realization of the project is already authorized. It is supposed to carry in shortest terms negotiations with all interested parties with the purpose of coordination of joint actions. The consortium of the companies for realization of the project is already created and variants of construction of taps of a gas main to the adjacent states are examined. It is not specified yet, which companies were included in the consortium.

The project of the North-European gas main is essentially new route of transferring Russian natural gas to Western Europe. Extent of gas main according to the "sea" variant will add up to 1200 kms. It will be the longest ever constructed sea pipeline directly allowing connection of gas transporting systems of Russia with the European gas network.

At the end of 1999 joint-stock company "North Transgaz" (founders Open Society "Gazprom" and Finnish company "Fortum") has finished development of feasibility report for construction of the North-European gas main, which has confirmed economic efficiency and technical practicability of a gas main through the bottom of Baltic Sea. Russian institutes " Giprospezgaz" and the State research navigation-hydrographic institute took part in development of the feasibility report (Gos-NIGRI) took part such large engineering and consulting companies as "Neste Engineering" (Finland), "Geoconsult" (Norway), "Ramboll" (Denmark) and others. Open Society " Gazprom " and company "Fortum", having analyzed possible routes of the North-European gas main, came to conclusion about expediency of realization of the project of "sea" variant from Russia through gulf of Finland and Baltic sea to the coast of Germany.
At the end of April this year in Moscow the meeting of the heads of Open Society " Gazprom ", German Ruhrgas AG and Wintershall AG and Finnish concern Fortum was held. The parties have agreed upon joint development of the business - plan and the concept of organization of financing using prepared by Open Societies " Gazprom " and Fortum materials. Participants of the project believe, that assignment by European community to the project " North-European gas main " status "TEN" (Trans-European networks) will allow to get political support on the part of the states - members of EU and also to solve questions of attraction of financial assets, including resources of the European investment bank, for development and realization of the project.
Passing from Russia through the region of Baltic sea to the coast of Germany the North-European gas main will allow to connect directly the Russian suppliers of gas with consumers of the countries of the European Union, to carry out diversification export streams of Russian natural gas and opportunity of their maneuvering, avoiding transit through the states with unstable economy, which will raise reliability of deliveries of gas. For achievement of this purpose from the basic gas main, gas mains - taps for submission of gas to the Kaliningrad area, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Great Britain will be constructed. The beginning of submission of natural gas is planned in 2007; an output reflecting designed capacity - in 2009.
Gazprom is going in the nearest 10 years to keep the share of 25 % in deliveries of gas to Europe. As the chairman of board of " Gazprom " has emphasized, the company is interested reducing the home market of Russia and the share of gas in fuel balance (now the gas component is 50 %).

Author: Nana Bendukidze

Source : Neftegaz.ru