Russia Threatens to Scrap South Stream Gas Line

Energy | March 17, 2011, Thursday // 12:29|  views

The 900-km underwater section of South Stream might be replaced with a LNG terminal. File map

Russia is considering giving up the project for the South Stream gas line in case it meets insurmountable obstacles, Dmitry Psekov, spokesperson of Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, says.

Peskov, cited by the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS and the daily "Komersant," confirmed earlier reports the project's underwater section might be replaced with liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals on the Black Sea.

Russian Deputy PM, Igor Sechin, also stated Moscow is mulling cheaper alternatives of delivering Russian gas to Europe, including LNG terminals.

The news come on the heels of failed negotiations between Moscow and Ankara where Turkey refused to agree on having the gas line pass on the bottom of the Black Sea in its economic zone.

Sechin points out the Russian side does not understand Ankara's motives because Turkish partners insist "Gazprom" has not delivered economic evidence for the project's sustainability, but on the other side, they issued the permit for such study only on May 31, 2010.

Experts have commented for "Komersant" that all this talk about LNG terminals is just wondow-dressing, aiming at pressuring Turkey. They say the building of such terminals would mean also their construction in Bulgaria and Romania while large tankers cannot pass through the Bosphorus, but for two months during the entire year.

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Tags: Dmitry Peskov, Sergei Shmatko, Vladimir Putin, Lukoil, Rosneft, Gazprom, Blue Stream, Black Sea, LNG, liquefied natural gas, azerbaijan, Russia, natural gas, gas transit pipeline, South stream, Igor Sechin


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