South Stream (Russian: Южный Поток, Bulgarian: Южен
поток, Serbian: Јужни ток/Južni tok, Slovene: Južni
tok, Hungarian: Déli Áramlat, Italian: Flusso Meridionale) is an
abandoned pipeline project to transport natural gas of the Russian
Federation through the
Black Sea to
Bulgaria and through Serbia,
Slovenia further to Austria.
The project created controversy due to non-compliance with European
Union competition and energy legislation, in particular the Third
Energy Package, which stipulates the separation of companies'
generation and sale operations from their transmission networks.
It was seen as rival to the
Nabucco pipeline project. Construction
of the Russian onshore facilities for the pipeline started in December
2012. The project was cancelled by
Russia in December 2014
following obstacles from
Bulgaria and the EU, the 2014 Crimean crisis,
and the imposition of European sanctions on Russia. The
project has been replaced by proposals of
Turkish Stream and Tesla
3 Technical description
4 Project companies
Nabucco pipeline project
5.2 Conflict with Ukraine
5.3 Offer to Romano Prodi
5.4 Stroytransgaz contract
6 See also
8 External links
South Stream pipeline project was announced on 23 June 2007, when
the Chief Executive Officer of the Italian energy company
Scaroni and the Vice-Chairman of Russian
Gazprom Alexander Medvedev
Rome a memorandum of understanding for construction of the
pipeline. On 22 November 2007,
Eni signed in
agreement on establishing a joint project company for the
commissioning of the marketing and technical feasibility studies of
The preliminary agreement between
Bulgaria on Bulgaria's
participation in the project was signed on 18 January 2008. It was
agreed to set up an equally owned company to build and operate the
Bulgarian section of the pipeline. The agreement was ratified by
Bulgarian Parliament on 25 July 2008. The first agreement between
Serbia was signed even before the announcement of the South
Stream project. On 20 December 2006,
Gazprom and Serbian state-owned
Srbijagas agreed to conduct a study on building a gas
pipeline running from
Bulgaria to Serbia. On 25 January 2008,
Serbia signed an agreement to route a northern line of
South Stream through
Serbia and to create a joint company to build the
Serbian section of the pipeline and a gas storage facility near
Banatski Dvor. On the same day,
Hungary agreed to
set up an equally owned joint company to build and operate the
Hungarian section. On 29 April 2008,
Russia and Greece signed
an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in construction and
operation of the Greek section.
On 15 May 2009, in Sochi, in presence of the Prime Minister of Russia
Vladimir Putin and the Prime Minister of
Italy Silvio Berlusconi, the
gas companies of Russia, Italy, Bulgaria,
Serbia and Greece signed an
agreement on construction of South Stream. On 6 August 2009,
the Prime Minister of
Vladimir Putin and the Prime Minister of
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in attendance of the Prime Minister of
Silvio Berlusconi signed a protocol routing the pipeline through
the Turkish territorial waters. On 14 November 2009, followed the
talks between Slovenian Prime Minister
Borut Pahor and Russian Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin, the agreement to run a part of the pipeline
Slovenia to Northern
Italy was signed by Russian Energy
Sergei Shmatko and Slovenian Economy Minister Matej Lahovnik
in Moscow. As per earlier 2008 agreement between two
countries, on 17 November 2009, Russian
Gazprom and Serbian Srbijagas
Serbia AG in Bern, Switzerland. The joint company
was responsible for design, financing, construction and operation of
On 2 March 2010, Russian Energy Minister
Sergei Shmatko and Croatian
Economy, Labor and Entrepreneurship Minister Djuro Popijac in the
presence of the Prime Minister of
Vladimir Putin and Prime
Jadranka Kosor signed an agreement on linking
Croatia with South Stream. On 19 June 2010, Gazprom, Eni, and
Électricité de France
Électricité de France published a joint press release confirming
that EDF will join the project. On 21 March 2011,
Russia signed an agreement regarding the establishment of a joint
South Stream Slovenia.
The joint venture
South Stream AG, equally owned by
Gazprom and Eni,
was registered on 18 January 2008 in Switzerland. However, on 16
September 2011, a shareholders' agreement was signed between Gazprom,
Électricité de France
Électricité de France and
Wintershall to establish the new
South Stream Transport AG for the
Black Sea section of
the pipeline. The company was incorporated on 3 October 2011 in
On December 28, 2011
Turkey issued its final agreement for allowing
the pipeline to pass through its territorial waters. The final
investment decision for the Serbian section was signed on 29 October
2012, for the Hungarian section on 2 November 2012, for the Slovenian
section on 13 November 2012, and for the Bulgarian section on 15
November 2012. On 15 November 2012, shareholders of
South Stream Transport AG signed the final investment decision on the
offshore section. The ground-breaking ceremony marking start of
construction of the Russian onshore facilities was held on 7 December
2012 at the Russkaya compressor station near Anapa.
On 25 July 2013, the Vice Premier
Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia Zoran
Stavreski signed the agreement on linking section through Republic of
Macedonia with South Stream.
In March and April 2014, the contracts for laying the first and second
lines of the offshore section were awarded to
Allseas. Contracts for the third and fourth line were to be
signed in December 2014 and January 2015.
On 17 April 2014, amid Russia's annexation of Crimea, the European
Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution opposing the South Stream
gas pipeline and recommending a search for alternative sources of gas
supplies for the European Union. On 29 April 2014 a memorandum on
the implementation of the Austrian section was signed in Moscow.
Commissioning of the Austrian section is scheduled by January
2018. In June 2014,
Bulgaria temporarily stopped construction due
to the European Commission's infringement procedure against Bulgaria
for non-compliance with European rules on energy competition public
In April 2014
Russia filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization
against the European Union's energy market laws that were enacted in
2009, claiming that they violate international rules. These laws ban
suppliers from owning transit facilities such as gas pipelines, and
Gazprom to allow third-party gas producers to use the
South Stream pipeline.
On 1 December 2014, during a state visit to Turkey, president Putin
Russia was withdrawing from the project, blaming
Western sanctions and lack of construction permits in the territory of
the European Union.
Russia has started to build a pipeline
Turkey known as Turkish Stream.
Along with additional supplied to Turkey, Russian gas, according to
Putin, “will be retargeted to other regions of the world, which will
be achieved, among other things, through the promotion and accelerated
implementation of projects involving liquefied natural gas.”. In
2015, the supply of Russian gas to
Turkey will be raised by 3 billion
cubic meters via the already operating
Blue Stream pipeline. Later a
new undersea pipeline to Turkey, with an annual capacity around 60
billion cubic metres (bcm) will be built. That will allow
resell Russian gas to Europe.
Major existing and planned natural gas pipelines supplying Russian gas
The pipeline was to consist of the Russian onshore pipeline, the Black
Sea section and pipelines in the South- East Europe. The Russian
onshore section would have run from the Pochinki compressor station to
the Russkaya compressor station near Anapa. The 931-kilometre
(578 mi) long offshore section was to run from the Russkaya
compressor station through the
Black Sea to Galata near Varna,
Bulgaria. Because of the Russia–
Ukraine gas disputes, the
pipeline was to be routed through Turkey's waters to avoid the
exclusive economic zone of Ukraine. At the same time
Russia's 2014 annexation of
Crimea would have allowed more direct
route through the Crimean waters.
The 1,455-kilometre (904 mi) long onshore section was to start
Varna and run to Pleven. From there, the original
southwestern route was to continue through Greece and
Ionian Sea to
southern Italy. However, this route was abandoned. The newer
northwestern route would have continued from
Pleven to Serbia. In
Serbia, then running through
Paraćin to Čenta. From
Čenta the main pipeline would have continued in direction of
Gospođinci while branch-off line would run to
Republika Srpska in
Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Srbijagas planned to construct along Sava
river a 480-kilometre (300 mi) long branch pipeline with a
capacity of 1.2 billion cubic metres (42 billion cubic feet)
Banja Luka and Sarajevo. It was also surmised that Montenegro
could have connected to the pipeline.
Before reaching Gospođinci, the main line was to split. One route
would continue through
Hungary to Baumgarten an der March
in Austria. Another route would have continued through
Bački Breg also to
Hungary with branch-off to Croatia. In Hungary
it would have gone through
Slovenia and further in direction of
Tarvisio to supply northern
The feasibility study of the offshore section was conducted by Saipem,
a subsidiary of Eni. Planning was done by INTECSEA, a
subsidiary of WorleyParsons. Giprospetsgas, an affiliate of Gazprom,
has been appointed as a general design contractor. The offshore
pipeline is planned to carry 63 billion cubic metres
(2.2 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas per year. It will
have four parallel lines with capacity of 15.75 billion cubic
metres (556 billion cubic feet) each. The offshore pipeline
will use pipes with a diameter of 32 inches (810 mm), designed
for 27.73 megapascals (4,022 psi) of working pressure and having
the pipe wall thickness of 39 millimetres (1.5 in). The
first line should be ready by the end of 2015, the second and third
lines by the end of 2016, and the fourth line by the end of 2017. The
offshore section is expected to cost €10 billion.
Pipeline sections in Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, and
Slovenia will have
capacity at least 10 billion cubic metres (350 billion cubic
feet) per year. The onshore pipeline will have eight compressor
stations and it is expected to cost €6 billion.
At least two gas storage facilities would be constructed of which one
would be an underground storage facility in
Hungary with capacity of
minimum 1 billion cubic metres (35 billion cubic feet) and
another one in Banatski Dvor,
Serbia with capacity of 3.2 billion
cubic metres (110 billion cubic feet). Hungarian oil and
MOL Group has offered its empty natural gas field at
Pusztaföldvár as a 9 billion cubic metres (320 billion
cubic feet) storage facility. British
Melrose Resources is
planning to convert the Galata offshore field in
Bulgaria to a gas
storage facility with initial capacity of 1.7 billion cubic
metres (60 billion cubic feet) by 2009. There are also
allegations that the
South Stream pipeline will be connected to the
Wingas-owned Haidach gas storage.
The pipeline will be built and operated by several project companies.
For the construction and operation of the offshore section of South
Stream originally two companies were established, both in
Switzerland with the share capital of 100,000 CHF.
South Stream AG, a joint venture between
incorporated on 18 January 2008, and
South Stream Transport AG, a
joint company of Gazprom, Eni, Électricité de France, and
Wintershall was incorporated on 3 October 2011. Head of
South Stream Transport AG is Marcel Kramer, former chief executive
officer of the gas transportation company Gasunie. Executive
director is Oleg Aksyutin.
Gazprom owns 50% of shares of South
Stream Transport AG,
Eni 20%, and
Électricité de France
Électricité de France and
Wintershall 15% both. In November 2012, it was decided to
South Stream Transport B.V., the current project company,
in Amsterdam. Earlier
Eni had registered in
Amsterdam a company
South Stream BV, but in February 2012 it was renamed
The Bulgarian section of the pipeline will be built and operated by a
joint venture of
Bulgargaz and the Serbian section by the
joint venture of
Gazprom and Srbijagas. The Hungarian
section will be built and operated by the equally owned joint venture
Gazprom and the state-owned Hungarian Development Bank MFB,
which will buy the elaborated feasibility study of Hungarian section
from SEP Co., a joint venture of
Gazprom and MOL. The Slovenia
section will be built and operated by an equally owned joint venture
Geoplin Plinovodi. For construction of the Croatian
section a 50-50 Russian-Croatian joint company will be
Nabucco pipeline project
Map of the planned Nabucco and
South Stream pipelines.
South Stream project was seen as a rival to the Nabucco pipeline
project. Some experts like Alan Riley from London City University
were claiming that the
South Stream pipeline is a political project to
counter Nabucco and to expand Russian presence in the region.
Paolo Scaroni proposed to merge Nabucco and South Stream
projects to "reduce investments, operational costs and increase
overall returns". This proposal was rejected by energy
Sergei Shmatko saying that "
South Stream is more
competitive than Nabucco" and that "Nabucco and
South Stream are far
from being competitors". Also OMV, a partner in both projects, has
said that there were no ongoing discussions about merging the
Conflict with Ukraine
South Stream has been seen as diverting some gas transported through
Ukraine, instead of providing a new source of gas for Europe. To
avoid Ukraine's exclusive economic zone, the pipeline was re-routed
through Turkish waters.
Offer to Romano Prodi
Before stepping down from the premiership, Italian Prime Minister
Romano Prodi received an offer from
Gazprom to become the Chairman of
South Stream AG. This move was compared with the appointment of the
former Chancellor of Germany
Gerhard Schröder to lead
Nord Stream AG,
a consortium operating the
Nord Stream pipeline. Prodi has declined
this offer. According to the Prodi's spokesman "Prodi was
extremely flattered, but reiterated that he wants to take some time
off to ponder after leaving Italian politics."
In May 2014, it was disclosed that the contract for construction of
the Bulgarian section was awarded to Stroytransgaz, a company
Gennady Timchenko though his Volga Group. Earlier
Timchenko was included in the sanctions list in the wake of the
Russia due to his close ties with President
Energy in Bulgaria
Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to South Stream.
South Stream official Web site
South Stream AG
Gas Routes to Europe
Croatia Agrees To Join South Stream
Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia Agrees To Join South Stream
Pipeline systems of
Russia by year of launch
Saratov–Moskva pipeline (1946)
Northern Lights (1975–1994)
Urengoy–Pomary–Uzhgorod pipeline (1983)
Yamal–Europe pipeline (1997)
Blue Stream (2003)
Dzuarikau–Tskhinvali pipeline (2009)
Baku–Novo Filya pipeline (2010)
Nord Stream (2011–2012)
Sakhalin–Khabarovsk–Vladivostok pipeline (2011–2012)
Central Asia–Center (1960–1988; 2011–2012)
Altai gas pipeline
South Stream (cancelled)
Power of Siberia
Power of Siberia (2019)
Grozny–Tuapse oil pipeline
Grozny–Tuapse oil pipeline (1928)
Tikhoretsk–Tuapse pipeline (1962)
Druzhba pipeline (1964)
Uzen–Atyrau–Samara pipeline (1971)
Baku–Novorossiysk pipeline (1997)
Baltic Pipeline System
Baltic Pipeline System (2001)
Caspian Pipeline Consortium
Caspian Pipeline Consortium (2004)
Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean oil pipeline
Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean oil pipeline (2010)
Baltic Pipeline System-II
Baltic Pipeline System-II (2012–2013)
Murmansk Pipeline (unknown date)
Ammonia: Togliatti–Odessa pipeline
See also: Water pipe
Black Sea Energy
Natural gas fields
Caspian Pipeline Consortium