The Russian natural gas giant, Gazprom, has revealed that next year it may sign a deal to extend its network of pipelines to reach Britain.
Back in June Alexei Miller, the Chief Executive of Gazprom, mentioned that BP was interested in a joint venture to expand the Nord Stream pipeline so that natural gas could be delivered straight from Russia to Britain.
At the time any progress into the deal was blocked by BP’s Russian partners in TNK-BP, who insisted that they could only look for investment opportunities in Russia. Now that TNK-BP has been sold to Rosneft, BP has been released from that obligation and is free once more to investigate the project with Gazprom.
Nord Streams first two phases consist of a pipeline built directly from Russia’s Baltic coast to Germany which, once running at full capacity, will transport 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas each year.
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The British phase of the pipeline will probably not be ready until 2018.
Is it possible that Gazprom are keen to expand its pipelines, and supply natural gas to other countries around the EU due to a fear that the US might start to export its incredibly cheap shale gas? Gazprom would benefit greatly if they can try and tie as many countries as possible into long term contracts.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com