Second Meeting Concerning Construction of North-European Gas Line Held in St. Petersburg, December 20

A joint workgroup of the Gazprom gas company, Russia's largest, and the administration of the Leningrad Region had a meeting in St. Petersburg yesterday concerning the construction of the North-European gas pipeline. This is according to the press service of the regional administration.

The programme of the meeting included a presentation entitled 'A Declaration of Intent as to Investing in the Construction of the Gryazovets-Vyborg Pipeline'. The parties discussed the timetables of and their actions as to the project, including public hearings.

The project provides for laying a gas pipeline to Europe on the bottom of the Baltic Sea and the construction of sidelines to the Kaliningrad Region, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. The pipeline will be also used to supply gas to Great Britain. It will enable Russian gas to directly connect the gas transportation systems of Russia and Europe.

Initially, gas will be supplied from the Nadym-Pur-Taz gas fields in the Yamal-Nenetsky Autonomous District and later from the Yamal-Ob-Taz bay and the Shtokman gas fields. Preliminary research work for the construction is expected to begin in January 2003.

The land portion of the pipeline to cross the Leningrad Region will be 568 km long, the sea portion - 1,089 km-long. The cost of the construction of the land portion is expected to amount to USD 1 billion, that of the sea portion - USD 2.8 billion. The projected annual capacity of the one-run gas pipeline is 19.7 billion cubic metres. Once the second run is completed, the annual figure should reach over 30 billion cubic metres. So far, such companies as German Ruhrgas, Finnish Fortrum, and Dutch Gazuni have displayed interest for participation in the project.

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Author`s name Editorial Team