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Gazprom Might Increase Capacity of South Stream Gas Pipeline by 50%

Date: 30.01.2009

The Russian energy giant Gazprom is considering expanding the capacity of the planned South Stream gas transit pipeline by over 50% - from 31 to 47 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.

This was announced on Wednesday by the Deputy Chair of Gazprom's Governing Board Alexander Medvedev, the BGNES news agency reported.

Medvedev had a working meeting with the European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs about the consequences of the recent gas crisis which resulted from the Russia-Ukraine gas pricing dispute. The two discussed the various ways to prevent such situations from happening again.

"No final decision has been made on expanding South Stream's capacity - this is one of our project options but enlarging the pipe will lead to the reduction of the relative transit cost per kilometer", the Gazprom Deputy Chair explained.

In his words, this second option will save the company a lot of money so it has decided to consider it.

The South Stream pipeline is projected to transit gas from Russia to Southern Europe via the Black Sea and Bulgaria. On Bulgarian terrotory it will cross routes with the EU-sponsored Nabucco gas transit pipeline, which is to bring gas from the Middle East and Central Asia.

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