RUSSIA & BULGARIA WANT SOUTH STREAM
Russia and Bulgaria are discussing the possibility of reclassifying the Bulgarian part of the South Stream pipeline into a field pipe to relieve it from the EU's third energy package, a source familiar with last week's talks between EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, told ITAR-TASS Tuesday.
"The field status could solve all the problems on restrictions due to the EU third energy package," the source said.
Under the package, one company, in the case of the South Stream Russian gas giant Gazprom cannot be engaged in production, transportation, and sales of fuel at the same time. But the pipes carrying gas from EU shelf fields have a special field status, which removes them from the effect of the legislation.
Austria's OMV, Gazprom's partner in the South Stream, produces gas production on the Bulgarian shelf, and its pipeline carrying gas from the shelf can be later included in the project by reassignment of rights.
In June, Bulgaria suspended preparations for the construction of the pipeline on orders from the EU authorities. They said that the pipeline laying must be suspended until the project is fully adjusted to the Union's legislation.
South Stream will run under the sea to the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Varna before extending overland through Serbia, Hungary, and Slovenia to supply gas to the Western Europe via Italy and Austria. The pipeline's capacity amounts to 63 billion cubic meters.