1. What is South Stream necessary for?
South Stream goes far beyond the current situation, it is intended to enhance long-term reliability of gas supplies from Russia to Europe and Europe's energy security.
According to the consensus forecast of the world's leading forecasting centers, the European countries’ need for additional import may reach 80 billion cubic meters by 2020, and by 2030 it may exceed 140 billion cubic meters of gas. Meanwhile, indigenous production will decline.
Europe will need a more extensive gas transmission infrastructure in order to meet the growing demand for energy. With the total design capacity of 63 billion cubic meters per year, South Stream will significantly contribute to solving this problem. South Stream will allow a direct connection between suppliers and consumers of hydrocarbons, it will assure supplies of new gas volumes and will make an invaluable contribution to strengthening the energy security of Europe.
2. What will be the gas pipeline route?
The Consolidated Feasibility Study (FS) of South Stream was completed in the third quarter of 2011. The Consolidated FS included a feasibility study of the offshore section and feasibility studies of onshore sections in the gas pipeline host countries of Southern and Central Europe. According to the Consolidated FS results, it was decided to build the offshore gas pipeline section from the Black Sea (Russia) near Anapa through the exclusive economic zone of Turkey in the Black Sea to the Bulgarian cost near Varna. The offshore section is approximately 900 kilometers long.
Then, running across Europe, the gas pipeline will go through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia with the end point in Tarvisio (Italy). Gas laterals to Croatia and Republika Srpska from Serbia may be constructed as well.
It is possible that other onshore extensions of South Stream will be built in the future – to Southern Italy through Greece and to Austria.
3. How will the project develop in the near future?
The gas pipeline construction will start in December 2012. First gas supplies are scheduled for late 2015. In total, 4 strings will be constructed with the annual capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters each. Bringing the gas pipeline to its full capacity is planned for 2018–2019.
4. Where will gas intended for South Stream come from?
Gas to be conveyed through South Stream will be fed from the Unified Gas Supply System of Russia, therefore, it is not correct to speak about the correlation between South Stream and any specific field.
Russia possesses the world’s largest natural gas reserves. Due to such a unique potential, we can affirm that South Stream could be fed with gas to the full extent even today.
Europe itself is interested in guaranteeing long-term access to such resources.
5. What will be the environmental impacts of the South Stream gas pipeline?
We are very concerned about environmental issues. The South Stream environmental impact assessment will be completed in line with the provisions of international and European laws as well as national laws of the project host countries.
South Stream unites first-class European and Russian companies with significant experience in onshore and offshore pipelines construction and operation. The project will be implemented with the use of the most advanced technologies to ensure compliance with environmental requirements.
It should also be noted that the long-term global practice of offshore gas pipelines construction and operation shows that these facilities have the highest degree of reliability, and the impact on the environment is considerably less than the impact of onshore pipelines construction.