ZURICH, Switzerland – The South Stream Transport Supervisory Board has approved signing of a contract to lay the first string of pipe for South Stream’s offshore section through the Black Sea.
Terms covered include infrastructure development for the landfalls and construction of production facilities for the gas pipelines in the shore crossing areas in Russia and Bulgaria.
The offshore section will comprise four 930-km (578-mi) parallel pipelines in water depths of more than 2,200 m (7,218 ft).
Alexey Miller, chairman of Gazprom, said contracts for procuring pipes for the second string would also be signed by the end of March. Contracts for the first string (more than 75,000 12-m/39-ft long pipes) were awarded in January to Russian and German fabricators.
Gas deliveries to markets in southern and central Europe are scheduled to start in late 2015. South Stream is expected to reach its full 63-bcm (2.22-tcf) design capacity in 2018.
Yesterday, the Blue Stream gas pipeline through the northern part of the Black Sea transported its 100th bcm of Russian natural gas to Turkey.
The 1,213-km (754-mi) pipeline system, with annual throughput capacity of 16 bcm (565 bcf), was commissioned in December 2002.
Water depths along the route are up to 2,150 m (7,054 ft), within an aggressive hydrogen sulfide (H2S) environment. To withstand the conditions the pipeline is made of high-grade corrosion-resistant steel pipes with internal and external polymer coatings.
Turkey is Gazprom’s second largest gas customer in Europe after Germany.