Tag: South Stream

In the corridors of Brussels’ elegant Stanhope Hotel on Wednesday afternoon, the well-turned-out movers-and-shakers of the European energy world were marvelling at the sizeable budget and high-profile guest list for the event they were attending.

Soon to share a dais were Günther Oettinger, the European energy commissioner; his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shmatko; Alexei Miller, the chairman of Russia’s Gazprom; and Paolo Scaroni, the chief executive of Italy’s Eni. The ballroom was appointed with flat-screen video monitors and rows of chairs with corporate gift boxes.

The event was a sort of a Brussels coming-out party (and charm offensive) for South Stream, a Gazprom-backed pipeline project that aims to carry Russian and Caspian gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria, where it would then fork off to Italy and Austria. South Stream’s backers, which include Eni, and now BASF, are due to decide next year whether or not to push ahead with the €15.5bn investment necessary to complete the sprawling project.

Kiran Stacey

In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, Alexander Medvedev, deputy chief executive of Gazprom, answers your questions.

In this second post, he answers questions on support from Vladimir Putin, the likelihood of a deal between South Stream and Nabucco and future Russian gas demand.

Earlier, he discussed changes to gas pricing, how reliable a partner his company is for EU countries and how Gazprom will respond to the shale gas boom.

Next in the hotseat are Terry Duffy and Craig Donohue, chairman and chief executive of the CME Group. They will be answering your oil-price related questions next Friday, February 25th. Send in your questions for consideration by the end of Sunday, February 20th to energysource@ft.com.

But for now, over to Alexander:

At times the European Gas Conference in Vienna felt more like a television dating gameshow than a humdrum industry get-together.

It is make-or-break-time for Europe’s ambition to open up the so-called “Southern Corridor” – the bid to access alternative gas supplies in the Caspian region (which holds one quarter of the world’s reserves)  and thereby break the continent’s dependency on Russian gas.

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