Russia to start pumping Nord Stream gas on Tuesday - Putin

05 September 2011 17:27  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Russia will begin pumping initial gas through the Nord Stream pipeline on Tuesday this week, the country's prime minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

Technical gas would be sent through the pipeline from Vyborg, a city 130 kilometres (81 miles) to the northwest of Saint Petersburg, to Lubmin, near Greifswald, northeastern Germany.

This preparatory move will allow commercial gas to be delivered to European clients in October or November, he added.

Putin signalled the start of Nord Stream operations at a meeting of his governing United Russia party.

The new €7.4bn ($10.4bn) infrastructure, which takes a route across the Baltic Sea, will help Russia deliver gas to Europe without it having to overcome obstacles caused by the policies of gas transit states through which its old pipelines run, such as the Druzhba, Putin said.

On 25 August, the Switzerland-headquartered Nord Stream joint venture announced that the 1,220-kilometre Nord Stream had been connected to the newly built €1bn, 470-kilometre OPAL pipeline, the largest natural gas pipeline in Western Europe.

The OPAL runs from Lubmin, via Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg and Saxony to the Germany-Czech Republic border, where it is to be connected to the the €400m Gazela Pipeline which will deliver Nord Stream gas across central Europe.

Nord Stream has a capacity of 55bn cubic metres (cbm) of gas per year, while the capacity of the OPAL is 36bn cbm/year.

($1 = €0.71)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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