Gazprom has announced a new gas pipeline under the Black sea

Chairman of the Board “Gazprom” Alexey Miller, chief Executive officer of Italian Edison SpA mark Benyon and chief Executive officer, DEPA SA, the Greek Theodoros Kazakos signed a Memorandum of understanding, involving the supply of natural gas from Russia under the Black sea through third countries to Greece and from Greece to Italy”, stated in the press release of “Gazprom”.

The agreement was signed with the aim of “organizing the southern route of supplies of Russian natural gas to Europe”, States the company.

In the message “Gazprom” underlines that the parties are interested in the route of natural gas deliveries from Russia under the Black sea through third countries to Greece and from Greece to Italy and “most used” for these purposes will be the work done by Edison and DEPA in a project ITGI Poseidon.

“A potential project of a new route of deliveries, the implementation of which will be carried out in full compliance with EU legislation, will improve the reliability of gas supplies to Italy, as well as strengthen its role as major gas hub in southern Europe, consistent with the goals of the National energy strategy,” is contained in a press release statement by Mark Benayoun.

Before signing the document Miller met with the Minister of economic development of Italy Federica Guidi. The signing was attended by the Secretary General of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Greece on international economic relations Giorgos Tsipras.

“The revival of ITGI Poseidon project enhances energy security of Europe thanks to the emergence of additional channels of delivery and increases the role of Greece as a major corridor for gas supplies from various sources and routes,” said Theodoros Kazakos.

ITGI (Interconnector Turkey — Greece — Italy) gas pipeline, planned in the framework of the project southern gas corridor from Turkey through Greece to Italy. Poseidon — project of construction of the offshore pipeline, ITGI, to be held on the bottom of the Ionian sea and will connect the gas transmission systems of Greece and Italy, States in the press release of “Gazprom”. Participants in IGI Poseidon S. A. on a parity basis are Edison and DEPA.

The agreement on construction of the Poseidon pipeline was concluded in 2002, it was signed by Greek DEPA and Italian Edison. It was designed for the construction of the strands from the Greek Stavrolimenas to the Italian Otranto. The cost of this project was estimated in 2008 at €1 billion, construction of the offshore section of €350 million Plot Turkey-Greece was completed in 2007, at that time the future of the Greek-Italian thread remained unknown.

From the construction of the gas pipeline “South stream”, which leads to Bulgaria, Russia has refused in December 2014. It happened once to stop work on the project in June 2014 decided that the Bulgarian government led by Plamen Oresharski. The decision of Sofia explained the inconsistency of the project with EU requirements.

Rumors of a possible resumption of the project was launched in early January 2016. The Bulgarian newspaper Standart reported that the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov told their surroundings. In the government of the Republic have not confirmed this information.

Information about the resumption of negotiations on the “South stream” has denied the Kremlin and the Russian energy Ministry said that work on the project is still discontinued.

Most likely, third countries refers to Bulgaria, otherwise Greece will not get the light of deteriorating relations of Russia with Turkey, said Director of East European Gas Analysis Mikhail Korchemkin. And “use of results” in the framework of the ITGI Poseidon may be referring to the study of the route along which could go the new pipeline.

But Korchemkin doubts that he ever will be implemented. Now Gazprom has no money, and the Western contractors will be afraid to conclude with “Gazprom” agreement under threat of introduction of sanctions against the country. The conclusion of this Memorandum will allow DEPA and Edison to receive discounts on Russian gas, and Russian contractors will be able to continue the construction of southern corridor – the gas supply in the Russian territory to the Black sea, which are now frozen due to the freezing of the “South stream” and the uncertainty of “Turkish stream”, said the expert.