On working meeting between Alexey Miller and Jean-Francois Cirelli
The Gazprom headquarters hosted today a working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company's Management Committee and Jean-Francois Cirelli, Vice Chairman and President of GDF SUEZ.
The parties considered the issues related to cooperation between the companies in the energy sector including the prospects for extra Russian gas supplies to France via the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
The meeting participants shared the opinion that through reinforced long-term partnership between Gazprom and GDF SUEZ the security of gas supplies to European consumers would be raised.
“Successful delivery of new infrastructure projects such as Nord Stream and South Stream reflects the mutual interests of Russia and the European Union in the energy sector. It is evident to European partners that the existing infrastructure capacities are not enough to meet the long-term gas demand. I am confident that our cooperation with French companies is a key factor in meeting Europe's growing need for natural gas,” noted Alexey Miller.
Being one of the largest energy companies in Europe, GDF SUEZ was established in 2008 as a result of a merger between Gaz de France and SUEZ. GDF SUEZ is focused on power generation also implementing projects in natural gas exploration, production, processing and distribution. Cooperation in the gas supply sector between Gazprom and GDF SUEZ started in September 1975. A total of more than 300 billion cubic meters of natural gas has been supplied to GDF SUEZ over this period.
In December 2006 Gazprom and GDF SUEZ signed the Agreement to extend the existing contracts for Russian gas supply to France until 2030. Moreover, the parties agreed to deliver additional gas volumes to GDF SUEZ via the Nord Stream gas pipeline. At present, GDF SUEZ has contracted the pipeline capacity of 2.5 billion cubic meters per annum.
In October 2007 Gazprom was provided with an opportunity to deliver up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of Russian gas per year directly to end users in France. On March 1, 2010 Gazprom and GDF SUEZ signed the Memorandum on additional supplies of Russian natural gas and on the entry of GDF SUEZ into the Nord Stream project. Under the document, Gazprom and GDF SUEZ will study an opportunity to deliver up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas a year via the Nord Stream gas pipeline starting from 2015. In July 2010 GDF SUEZ entered the shareholding structure of Nord Stream AG with a 9 per cent stake after acquiring 4.5 per cent stakes from each of the German shareholders of Nord Stream AG.
Nord Stream is a completely new route for Russian gas exports to Europe. The gas pipeline will cross the Baltic Sea from the Portovaya Bay (near Vyborg) to the German coast (near Greifswald). The pipeline is about 1,200 kilometers long. The first Nord Stream string with the annual capacity of 27.5 billion cubic meters is to be commissioned in 2011. Construction of the gas pipeline's second string in 2012 will allow increasing its throughput capacity to 55 billion cubic meters.
The Nord Stream project is being implemented by the Nord Stream AG joint venture set up for planning, construction and further operation of the offshore gas pipeline. Stakes in Nord Stream AG are currently distributed as follows: Gazprom holds 51 per cent, Wintershall Oil AG and PEG Infrastruktur AG – 15.5 per cent each, Gasunie Infrastruktur AG – 9 per cent and GDF SUEZ Holding Switzerland AG – 9 per cent.