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Factbox: Russian Gas Export Pipelines, Projects

The Nord Stream gas pipeline project
European countries are facing reduced natural-gas supplies at the height of winter after Russia halted deliveries to Ukraine over a price dispute.

Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom supplies one-quarter of Europe's gas needs.

This is how the gas gets to Europe from Russia and some of the new pipeline projects aimed at bringing more Russian gas to Europe and diversifying supplies:

  • Eighty percent of gas bound to Europe travels via Ukraine. Russia says Ukraine is tapping gas earmarked for Europe and that Ukraine had shut down a pumping station supplying gas to the Balkans.
  • Germany and Poland can also get gas via the Yamal pipeline, which crosses Belarus. Its capacity is 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year, compared to 120 bcm via Ukraine. Gazprom has increased exports through Yamal to help compensate for lower flows through Ukraine.
  • The third export route is the Blue Stream pipeline, which runs from Russia to Turkey under the Black Sea. Gazprom said it was supplying additional gas through the Blue Stream pipeline, as well as from its reserves in European underground storage.


Yamal-Europe Pipeline: The pipeline, which runs from the Yamal Peninsula in Russia's Arctic north to Frankfurt-on-Oder on the Polish-German border, carries Russian gas for more than 4,000 kilometers. The expansion of the pipeline, which is expected to be completed by 2010, should boost capacity to 67 billion cubic meters of gas a year through two stretches.

Galsi Pipeline: The 1,350-kilometer Galsi gas pipeline could bring up to 10 billion cubic meters a year of Algerian gas to Italy through Sardinia when it opens in 2012. Italy is pushing the developers, including the state-run Algerian gas company Sonatrach and Italy's Enel, to finish the project before then.

Transmed Pipeline: Sonatrach is also working to boost the capacity of the existing 27-bcm-per-year Transmed gas pipeline, which runs from Algeria through Tunisia and into Sicily, Italy, by 6.5 bcm per year.

Medgaz Pipeline: The 210-kilometer, 8-bcm-a-year Medgaz pipeline is planned to bring Algerian gas to Spain from mid-2009. The Sonatrach-led project involves Spain's Cepsa, Iberdrola, Endesa, and GDF Suez.

The Nabucco project
Nabucco Pipeline:
Nabucco is an 8 billion-euro project to transport natural gas from Turkey to Austria, passing through Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. The 3,300-kilometer pipeline could begin operating in 2013. It could transport up to 31 billion cubic meters of Caspian gas per year to Europe by 2020, reducing Europe's dependency on Russian gas. Austrian oil and gas group OMV heads the consortium, which includes Hungary's MOL, Turkey's Botas, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz, and Romania's Transgaz.

Baltic Sea Pipeline (Nord Stream): The 7 billion-euro gas pipeline would carry up to 55 bcm of gas 1,200 kilometers from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany under the Baltic Sea. Nord Stream is majority owned by Gazprom, which is building it with Germany's BASF, E.ON, and Dutch Gasunie and has plans to build two parallel gas-pipeline legs of 1,200 kilometers each. Gazprom says the pipeline is designed to cut reliance on transit states. But industry analysts say Gazprom will remain dependent on Ukraine and Belarus because it will need the Baltic pipeline to feed growing demand in Europe and will have to use the old routes to supply traditional customers.

Caspian Gas Pipeline: Russia, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan have agreed plans for a new natural-gas pipeline around the Caspian Sea to deliver 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year by 2009-10. The United States says the deal is "not good" for Europe, because it would cement Russia's grip on gas exports from the region. But Russia says the new pipeline would lead to the creation of additional routes to the European Union.

Hungary Gas Pipeline: Hungary's MOL plans to build a 100-kilometer expansion of its gas pipeline toward Ukraine by 2010. The pipeline would help meet Hungary's rising domestic gas needs, but is not an alternative to other planned pipelines such as Nabucco or Blue Stream, MOL has said.

South Stream Pipeline: Gazprom and Italian oil firm Eni plan to build a new pipeline under the Black Sea to take Russian gas to Europe. Gazprom had previously discussed expanding the existing Blue Stream pipeline, which carries gas from Russia into Turkey, to Southern Europe and Israel. But that could now be in doubt in the light of the South Stream plans.

-- Reuters