Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee held a meeting on the South Stream project implementation.
Taking part in the meeting were Leonid Chugunov, Head of the Project Management Department, Pavel Oderov, Head of the International Business Department, and Marcel Kramer, Chief Executive Officer of South Stream.
The meeting participants reviewed in detail the project's current status and noted that South Stream was fully on schedule. Particular attention was paid to meeting all conditions required to speed up the gas pipeline construction launch as early as this December, in line with the assignment by Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. It was noted that the final investment decision on South Stream would be made in November of the current year.
At the meeting, Alexey Miller approved the South Stream Construction Charter. The document specifies the scope of work to be done at the onshore and offshore sections of the project.
“We have brought South Stream to the actual construction stage. It is no exaggeration to say that Gazprom is busy with the project 24 hours a day. This abnormally cold winter, which caused a spike in demand for Russian gas in Europe, is another proof that South Stream has to be and will be built. Europe is in need for the new corridors delivering Russian gas with no transiters,” said Alexey Miller.
With a view to diversify the natural gas export routes Gazprom is implementing the project for construction of a gas pipeline running under the Black Sea to the countries of Southern and Central Europe – the South Stream project.
Intergovernmental agreements were signed with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria in order to implement the onshore gas pipeline section.
On September 16, 2011 the South Stream Transport shareholders signed the Agreement for the offshore section of the project. Pursuant to the Agreement, the stakes in the offshore gas pipeline project are distributed as follows: Gazprom – 50 per cent, Italian Eni – 20 per cent, German Wintershall Holding and French EDF – 15 per cent each.
In the third quarter of 2011 the Consolidated Feasibility Study of South Stream was finalized and included the feasibility study of the offshore section and feasibility studies of the respective gas pipelines in the host countries of Southern and Central Europe.
The Consolidated Feasibility Study contains key engineering solutions of the project including their substantiation, environmental safety assessment and environmental measures, economic efficiency evaluation including capital and operational expenditures.
On December 30, 2011 Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation authorized Gazprom to speed up the launch of the South Stream project and to start its construction in 2012.
On January 20, 2012 Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee approved a detailed action plan that would make it possible to start the South Stream gas pipeline construction in December 2012.