Gazprom and GDF SUEZ sign document for exploring possibility of Nord Stream expansion
A meeting between Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Jean-Francois Cirelli, Vice Chairman and President of GDF SUEZ took place today as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2013.
The parties addressed the status of cooperation in the gas sector, paying special attention to the Nord Stream project.
The talks resulted in the signing of a document stipulating cooperation between the companies in exploring the possibility of the Nord Stream gas pipeline expansion.
“We are pleased to point out a high level of cooperation reached by Gazprom and GDF SUEZ during the Nord Stream project implementation. The signed document is aimed at using new opportunities for the project development so as to bring out its full potential. We are convinced that the possible expansion of Nord Stream will contribute to increasing the reliability of gas supplies to Europe as well as meeting the growing demand for natural gas as one of the most eco-friendly and easy to use types of fuel,” said Alexander Medvedev.
Jean-François Cirelli commented: “GDF SUEZ is very pleased with the work carried out alongside Gazprom within Nord Stream, a project which is highly strategic for Europe's gas supply in the long run. The implementation of the two Nord Stream lines was very efficiently achieved, within schedule and budget. This is why we are willing to investigate together the interest to further develop this infrastructure, which contributes to the diversification of supply routes to Europe.”
Nord Stream is a fundamentally new route for Russian gas export to Europe. Running under the Baltic Sea from the Portovaya Bay (near Vyborg) to the German coast (near Greifswald), the two-string gas pipeline stretches for 1,224 kilometers and has an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters.
The Nord Stream project is implemented by Nord Stream AG joint venture. The stakes in Nord Stream AG are currently distributed as follows: Gazprom holds 51 per cent, Wintershall Holding and E.ON Ruhrgas – 15.5 per cent each, Gasunie and GDF SUEZ – 9 per cent each. GDF SUEZ joined Nord Stream AG as a shareholder in July 2010.
GDF SUEZ is one of the largest energy companies in Europe; it was established in 2008 as a result of the merger between Gaz de France and SUEZ. GDF SUEZ focuses on power generation and implements projects in natural gas exploration, production, processing and distribution.
The cooperation between Gazprom and GDF SUEZ in the gas supply sector started in September 1975, when the parties signed the first two contracts for gas supplies to the border between Slovakia and Austria. On October 28, 1983 the third Contract for gas supplies to French consumers was signed as part of the Gas – Pipes project. In 2012 Gazprom supplied France with 8.2 billion cubic meters of gas.
In December 2006 Gazprom and GDF SUEZ signed the Agreement to extend the existing contracts for Russian natural gas supply to France until 2030. Moreover, the parties agreed on additional gas volumes for GDF SUEZ via the Nord Stream gas pipeline: at present, its contracted volume is 2.5 billion cubic meters per year.