Saturday, 12 June 2010

Gazprom to Ink Deal with France's EDF on South Stream


will sign a deal with French utility EDF next week on the latter taking a stake in the multibillion-euro South Stream gas pipeline project, the head of exports at the Russian energy firm said Thursday. Italy's ENI and Russian giant Gazprom are partners in the 20 billion euro plus project and said they had offered French utility EDF a 20 percent stake.

Asked where a deal might be signed, Gazprom's Alexander Medvedev said on the sidelines of a European Business Congress: "It will be in St. Petersburg."

The International Economic Forum will take place in St. Petersburg on June 17 to 19.

Medvedev added that Gazprom was still in negotiations with EDF regarding its stake in the pipeline project.

Construction of the South Stream pipeline, which will transport up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas a year, will start in the first half of 2012.

European Union politicians see it as a rival to the Brussels-backed Nabucco pipeline, which will bring Caspian and Central Asian gas to Europe, bypassing Russia.

South Stream aims to transport gas from Russia under the Black Sea to the Balkans and into Europe.

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