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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gazprom says offshore pipelines would lower transit risks

5/18/2009 - Daily News Bulletin by ProQuest LLC - MOSCOW: Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) believes new offshore gas pipelines need to be built to develop the European gas transportation system, a source at the company told journalists on Friday. In the run-up to the signing of an agreement between Gazprom and Italian, Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian energy companies on the South Stream gas pipeline, the source said that, given the new realities, energy security systems should be based on the construction of offshore gas pipeline systems free from transit risks. When "the weak political regimes and economies of transit countries start using the transit through their territory as a method of foreign economic competition and pressure, energy supplies via a system of land-based gas pipelines become insufficient," the source said. "Sea-based pipelines are an optimal way of building new gas pipelines to Europe both in terms of security and in terms of technical, economical and environmental factors," the source said. The source also described as unfounded "the popular view that Russia is making the EU dependent on its energy supplies by building these gas pipelines." European countries depend on Russia for 30% of their gas supplies on average, he said.

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