Gazprom CEO, Alexei Miller, has told Prime Minister Putin that the Nord Stream gas pipeline along the floor of the Baltic Sea, which will commence operation in early November, rt.com reports. At the meeting Miller added that as demand increased the company, Russia’s monopoly gas exporter would look at increasing capacity. “We are proud to announce the start of gas transportation through the Nord Stream pipeline from November 8. As concerns additional Nord Stream capacity, it could be possible to consider the possibility of creating additional branches in the context of the already created corridor. The trend, we see, will continue with growth in the amount of Russian gas delivered to Europe. We see positive trends in export directions. Over the first nine months of 2011, 25 billion more cubic meters were exported than during the same period of last year And doubtlessly, there will appear on the agenda the question of building, of the creation of new gas-transport capacity for delivering additional export volumes of Russian gas to EU countries.”
Miller noted that the volume of export depends on consumption in different EU countries but the growing economies represent the biggest part in Russian gas consumption.
Completion of the second line is slated for late 2012 and will double the capacity of Nord Stream to 55 billion cubic meters/year, platts.com informs. The Nord Stream pipeline reduces Russian dependence on Ukraine as the main transit state for Russian gas deliveries to Europe. Russia has been sending around 80% (about 110 Bcm of gas annually) of its total gas exports to Europe via Ukraine.