Saipem resumes work on Black Sea gas pipeline

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The South Stream gas project was shelved last year. Photo: Andrej Isakovic/AFP
10:52 CEST+02:00
Saipem, the Italian oil services company, has resumed work on a gas pipeline project in the Black Sea after a suspension was lifted by Russia’s Gazprom.

The company was told to stop work last December when the South Stream pipeline project, which was due to supply gas to Europe, was shelved amid EU sanctions against Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Russia then decided to re-route the pipeline to Turkey instead after agreeing with the country to start supplying gas from December 2016.

Saipem won a €2.4 billion contract for the project last year. The company said in a statement that the work, for the most part, follows the same route but will finish in Turkey instead of Bulgaria, in order “to satisfy Turkey’s growing demand for gas”.

Italy’s Eni, France’s EDF and BASF, a unit of Germany’s Wintershall, had been major investors in the South Stream project, together owning 50 percent of South Stream Transport, the company set up to build the pipeline, while Gazprom owned the remaining half.

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Gazprom agreed to buy them out in December last year.

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