The construction of the maritime stretch of the South Stream pipeline has been delayed for a month, said Vladimir Markov, a member of Gazprom’s management board. He did not specify the reasons for the hiccup, but indicated they are of purely technical nature.
He dismissed claims that the project has been affected by the international sanctions and maintained that the construction will be completed on time.
Analysts do not consider a one month delay a considerable issue.
The South Stream project is aimed at strengthening the European energy security. It is the key project in the diversification strategy for gas supply routes to the EU. The South Stream gas pipeline will ensure a direct connection between hydrocarbons suppliers and consumers thus raising significantly the energy supply security on the entire European continent.
Experts share the opinion that in the medium and long term gas demand will grow in the European Union. The countries which used to consume moderate amounts of gas for industrial purposes are likely to guide their economies towards its increased utilization, since coal, fuel oil and nuclear power are less environmentally-friendly if compared to natural gas. Regardless that indigenous production still satisfies the bulk of consumption in Europe today, it will steadily decrease in time. Europe will need more imported gas and, accordingly, new transmission capacities.
Author: Mikhail Vesely