Dutch-based South Stream Transport B.V., a joint venture established for the planning, construction and operation of the offshore section of the South Stream gas pipeline through the Black Sea, said its supervisory board approved the signing of a construction contract for the South Stream Offshore Pipeline.
"In March 2014, South Stream Transport B.V. plans to sign construction contracts covering offshore pipe laying of Line 1 and construction offshore crossings for all four lines and landfall facilities in Russia and Bulgaria," it said in a press release.
The supervisory board of South Stream Transport also approved the signing of a pipe supply contract for the second line. Orders for the supply of pipes for Line 1 were placed with producers in Russia and Germany in January.
The South Stream Offshore Pipeline will consist of four parallel pipelines of 931 kilometres across the Black Sea. Each pipeline will consist of over 75,000 pipes.
International joint venture South Stream Transport B.V. is controlled by Russian gas major Gazprom, which holds a 50% stake, Italian group Eni with a 20% stake as well as French energy group EDF and German company Wintershall with 15% each.
The Gazprom-spearheaded South Stream pipeline will supply natural gas from Russia to central and southeastern Europe. Its offshore part will run from Russia's Black Sea shore across the Turkish exclusive economic zone to the Bulgarian cost near Varna and will consist of four pipeline strings with annual capacity expected to reach 63 billion cubic metres.