Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gazprom considers new gas pipeline via Romania

MOSCOW, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom said on Friday it is considering building a new gas pipeline via Romania, as Russia seeks more partners to join its South Stream pipeline project.

Gazprom said in a statement that its chief executive Alexei Miller had discussed gas cooperation with the head of Romanian state-owned gas pipeline operator Transgaz Ioan Rusu and the head of state-run gas producer Romgas Francisc Toth at their meeting in Moscow.
"Prospects of cooperation in undeground gas storage issues were discussed at the meeting, as well as developing the existing transit capacities, as well as creating new ones," Gazprom said in a statement after the meeting.

It also said its delegation will go to Romania soon to discuss the issues in more detail.
A Gazprom spokesman declined to provide more details on the projects.

Gazprom, the world's largest gas producer and supplier of a quarter of Europe's gas needs, is seeking more partners to join its and Italian energy major Eni's South Stream gas pipeline which will run Russian gas from the Black Sea to south-eastern Europe.

Russia has already agreed to route the pipeline via Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Greece and is now in talks with Slovenia and Austria to join the project.

Romania is a parter in another gas link, the EU and U.S.-backed Nabucco pipeline, which is expected to rival South Stream and take Caspian Sea gas to southern Europe.

Europe has repeatedly stressed Nabucco is key for it to reduce dependence on Russian energy supplies.

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