More Pipe Dreams? White Stream and Nord Stream Updates

Via Energy Daily, an update on the White Stream and Nord Stream pipeline projects.  As the article notes:

“…Georgia signed a memorandum of understanding in Tbilisi with the London company responsible for the planned White Stream pipeline under the Black Sea to Europe.White Stream would bring gas from the Caspian region along a complex route under the Black Sea, through Georgia, Romania and others and on to markets in Europe. The initial capacity is estimated at 282.5 billion cubic feet per year, though later connections could more than triple that volume.

Roberto Pirani, managing director of GUEU-White Stream Pipeline Co., told the Platts news service that while negotiations were under way with potential host countries, construction for the pipeline was years away.

“It will take us five years to start laying the first pipeline after we have completed all the necessary agreements,” he said.

Europe has put diversification of its energy transit sector at the top of its priority for 2009, seeing the planned Nabucco pipeline as a primary option for diversification. White Stream officials noted their pipeline was a compliment to, not a rival of, the Nabucco project.

Officials said the agreement with Tbilisi was a move to shore up concerns over energy security in the region following disruptions to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which shut down briefly in August prior to a conflict with Russia over breakaway republics in Georgia.

Russia hosts Nord Stream parties
Russia hosted the shareholders for the planned Nord Stream gas pipeline in St. Petersburg to discuss plans for the project and to visit major gas fields.

Paul Vandoren, the EU envoy to Russia for the project, hailed the diversity and security that Nord Stream would bring to the European energy sector, Russia Today reports.

“The need for gas in Europe is so huge that we like to ensure that we have the best possible supplies of gas through several routes,” he said. “Nord Stream is important, but not the only one, so we are also working on supplies from other sources.”

A January dispute over gas contracts and arrears between Kiev and Moscow disrupted the European energy market for weeks when Russian energy giant Gazprom cut the flow of gas through Ukraine to Europe.

The Russian-backed Nord Stream would travel through the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea to Germany. Gazprom officials noted Nord Stream was not the final solution to European energy diversity but boasted of the huge reserve potential of Russian gas fields, some holding more than 127 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Nord Stream, and the South Stream pipeline to Italy and Austria, would bring gas to Europe through routes that avoid Ukraine. Nord Stream, however, is hampered by environmental concerns from the littoral states and construction complications from munitions scattered along the Baltic Sea floor.

Planners anticipate a launch date of 2012 provided necessary arrangements are secured…”

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