Gazprom, GDF SUEZ discuss Nord Stream expansion options
A working meeting of Vitaly Markelov and Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairmen of the Gazprom Management Committee with Jean-Francois Cirelli, Vice-Chairman and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GDF SUEZ took place today within the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014.
The parties discussed the current issues of Russian natural gas supply to Europe, particularly addressing the Nord Stream project and its possible expansion. They highlighted the strategic nature of this export route as well as its importance for increasing the reliability of gas supply across the continent.
The meeting participants yet again recognized the significance of gas as an eco-friendly fuel within the European energy mix. In this context, special stress was laid on the importance of advancing such a sector as NGV. It was noted that the existing trend of substituting natural gas by other less eco-friendly energy sources had to be overcome, among other things, due to the efforts of European energy companies.
The cooperation between Gazprom and GDF SUEZ in the gas supply sector started in 1975. In 2006 Gazprom and GDF SUEZ signed the Agreement to extend all of the three 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. In June 2013 Gazprom and GDF SUEZ signed a Letter of Intent to cooperate in Nord Stream gas pipeline expansion.
Nord Stream is an export gas pipeline running under the Baltic Sea to Germany. The two-string gas pipeline stretches 1,224 kilometers and has the capacity of 55 billion cubic meters. The Nord Stream project is implemented by Nord Stream joint venture (with Gazprom holding a 51 per cent stake, Wintershall Holding and E.ON Global Commodities – 15.5 per cent each, Gasunie and GDF Suez – 9 per cent each).
In 2013 Gazprom exported 8.17 billion cubic meters of natural gas to France.