Gazprom, Edison, DEPA discuss Southern Corridor gas pipeline plan

Technical matters concerning Russia’s Southern Corridor pipeline project proposal for transmission of natural gas to Europe were discussed at a meeting in Moscow yesterday between the heads of Gazprom, Edison and DEPA, Greece’s Public Power Corporation.

A new memorandum of understanding to provide greater details than a previous MoU signed by the three corporations in Rome last February is being prepared.

Yesterday’s meeting included talks on the optimal route for Russian gas exports to Greece and, by extension, Italy, according to a statement released by Gazprom.

The three sides took into account positions maintained by the European Commission and USA on Russian gas supply to Europe.

At this stage, the main concern of the interested parties is to avoid the mistakes committed for Russia’s previous pipeline proposal, South Stream, which deviated from European Commission regulations.

The sidelined Greek-Italian ITGI Poseidon project, initially planned to carry Azerbaijani natural gas, is expected to be developed and play a key role in the Southern Corridor plan by providing a pipeline link across the Adriatic Sea for the transfer of Russian gas from Greece to Italy. This issue was also on the agenda of yesterday’s talks.

Russian gas exports to Italy rose by 36.5 percent in November compared to the equivalent period last year. Italy is the second-biggest importer of Russian natural gas.

As for a Turkish segment planned to comprise part of the Southern Corridor project, Gazprom signed an agreement, just days ago in Amsterdam, with the Allseas Group, a Swiss-based offshore pipeline installation and subsea construction company for the project’s underwater segment in the east. This section of the pipeline is planned to run from a point close to the Russian city Anapa, on the northern coast of the Black Sea, across the sea, all the way to eastern Thrace, Turkey’s European territory.