24 Nov 2009 12:22

Austrian ambassador, Gazprom CEO discuss cooperation in gas sector

MOSCOW. Nov 24 (Interfax) - The Austrian ambassador to Russia, Martin Vukovic, and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller have discussed further cooperation in the gas sector.

Vukovic and Miller noted the importance of intensive interaction under the South Stream project. The parties agreed that the South Stream pipeline compares very favorably to all other existing and projected gas pipelines in Europe, given its scale and role for consumers.

Miller and Vukovic also stated that the South Stream pipeline would contribute strongly to energy security in Europe, including Austria, Gazprom has reported.

Gazprom is currently exploring the possibility of building a gas pipeline across the Black Sea to South and Central Europe - South Stream - with a 63 billion cubic-meter annual projected handling capacity of the Black Sea stretch.

Intergovernmental agreements have been signed with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece and Slovenia to build the land stretch of the pipeline. A similar agreement is expected to be signed with Austria.

Austria, meanwhile, is involved in a project to build the Nabucco gas pipeline, which will channel gas from the Caspian region to Europe bypassing Russia. The other parties in the project are Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. The budget for laying this 3,300 kilometer-long pipeline is estimated at 7.9 billion euros. The participants in the consortium are Germany's RWE, Austria's OMV, Turkey's Botas, Romania's Transgaz, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz and Hungary's MOL.