Russia's Gazprom said on February 5, 2018, as Serbian Seenews reported, it is considering increasing its shareholding interest in Swiss-based South Stream Serbia AG, the company established to build the Serbian section of a projected pipeline that would carry Russian gas to Europe.
The voting on a decision to increase the stake in South Stream Serbia is on the agenda of a meeting of Gazprom board of directors planned for February 13, the company said in a filing with the Moscow Stock Exchange.
Gazprom currently holds a 51% stake in the capital of South Stream Serbia, while Serbian Srbijagas controls a 49% shareholding interest.
Last month, Serbian PM Ana Brnabic said that the country expects to start soon the construction of the Serbian Stream pipeline, which will replace Gazprom's South Stream project and bring Russian gas through Bulgaria.
The name of South Stream Serbia company will be changed to Serbian Stream, she said at the time.
As it became known, the company was re-registered and renamed on January 30, 2018.
Now this company is called not South Stream Serbia and not Serbian Stream, but Gastrans.
In December, Russia said it adopted an amendment to its agreement with Serbia's government to allow the Southeast European country to re-export Russian natural gas to 3rd countries.
The Bulgarian government proposed in December 2014 to the EC to build an EU-funded regional gas hub near the country's Black Sea port of Varna to dispatch gas deliveries to the rest of Europe and, via those countries, to EU member states in central and western Europe, as well as to non-EU Serbia, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Gas can be fed into the hub from Russia, from Bulgaria's potential gas deposits in the Black Sea or, via interconnectors with Greece and Turkey, from the Caspian region or the Eastern Mediterranean, or from the Greek and Turkish LNG terminals.
The gas hub could also be supplied via an interconnector with Romania, which is estimated to have significant deposits in the Black Sea shelf.
The South Stream was conceived as a project to carry Russian gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and through Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia further west to Austria.
In December 2014, the European Parliament adopted a resolution opposing the South Stream project and recommending a search for alternative sources of gas supplies for the EU.
As a result, Russia proposed a pipeline project named Turkish Stream, which would carry gas under the Black Sea to the Turkish coast.
Gazprom also designed follow-on projects to bring Russian gas from Turkish Stream into Europe include the Tesla Pipeline, to run from Greece to Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary, ending at the Baumgarten gas hub in Austria, and Eastring, planned to carry gas north via Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.
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