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Gazprom has announced that the total cost of building the South Stream natural gas pipeline will amount to some $20 billion.

In a report posted on its website, Gazprom said the cost of laying the pipeline along the bed of the Black Sea would be about two-thirds of that total cost.

Gazprom also noted the importance of the pipeline for the European Union.

When fully operational in 2015, South Stream would carry some 63 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually to Europe.

The company said by 2020 the EU would be using 600 bcm annually and only be producing half the amount of gas the EU currently produces.
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