Russia Touts South Stream Pipeline As Europe’s Gas Lifeline

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Andy Tully via,

Russia is mounting a major publicity campaign in Europe for its proposed South Stream gas pipeline in an apparent effort to reassure its EU customers that they can rely on Russian gas for the indefinite future.

The reason for Moscow’s public relations efforts is the continuing unrest in Ukraine. EU countries now get about 30 percent of their gas from Russia, half of it piped through Ukraine. Twice, in 2006 and 2009, that flow has been interrupted. Gas flows to Europe through Ukraine are intact today, but that status may change depending on whether relations between Russia and Ukraine improve or decline.

Meanwhile, Russia is working on an alternative that it says will satisfy everyone, except perhaps Ukraine: the South Stream pipeline, which would bypass Ukraine, instead crossing the Black Sea into Central and Southern Europe.

On July 17, a major Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, published a full-page article based on information from Russia Beyond The Headlines (RBTH), an agency of the Russian government. The article bore the headline, “South Stream On Its Way to Going Ahead.”

The article is part of a broader Russian public relations effort elsewhere in Europe promoting South Stream as a source of 63 billion cubic meters of gas to EU customers per year, meeting 15 percent of Europe’s current needs.

The article in La Repubblica said many countries have agreed to provide transit rights for the pipeline. Nevertheless, the European Commission has suspended approval of the project and urged member countries to freeze work on the pipeline until Russia and Ukraine resolve their differences.

Still, several countries in Central and Southern Europe, including Germany, Italy and Bulgaria, support South Stream as a necessary alternative to the Ukraine pipeline. And here’s where the competition arises. Greece, which not long ago faced possible expulsion from the EU, is positioning itself as part of yet another alternate route.

That’s the Southern Corridor, which would combine the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

Gas would move gas from Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea, through Georgia and Turkey – the TANAP – then across northern Greece and end in southern Italy – the TAP. Azeri exports would start at 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The project would rely in large part on Greece, which would provide the longest land route for the TAP leg of the conduit.

Athens says this alternative not only would reduce Europe’s need for Russian gas, it would tap newly discovered gas sources off the coast of the Greek island of Crete. Several international oil companies, including BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell, met recently in London and expressed interest in forging alliances with Greek energy companies.

The initial investment in Cretan oil is estimated to range from between $3.4 billion and $8.1 billion – a significant amount for a country that is just now emerging from four years of economic crisis.

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Latina Lover's picture

Quick Europe, commit economic suicide to delay the final destruction of  the Federal Reserve and USSA

john39's picture

it seems that Europeans have the same level of control over their governments as Americans do...

(not much)

DoChenRollingBearing's picture



Yes, the South Stream gives Europe more options than pipelines through Ukraine.  Good.

But, I found the last five paragraphs of the article (Greece wanting to work with partners to bring Azeri gas to S Europe: the TANAP & TAP pipeline) to be very interesting.  Azerbaijan - Turkey - Greece - S Italy.  No Russia in this project, and Greece gets a piece of this action.

South Stream and TANAP/TAP gives Europe even more gas options, more security.

demoses's picture

Being from a country that would be a part of the south stream I can just say that ppl here are realy positive about it. But the biggest plus is the Austrian OMW meeting that took place a month ago. One thing is when the southern Balkan states are for this, but when I main one like Austria pushes the thortle then you know this will take place.

strannick's picture

The South Stream would be a disaster for America, cementing Russian European relations, and shit kicking the dollar. This is why the US has its proxy Proshenko puppet in Ukraine shooting down a Malaysian airliner. The best thing about America taking out another Malaysian Airliner in particular, is that it brings further pressure on Malaysia to cede control of the Mallacca Straight to the US navy, and so forbid Suadi Arabia from abandoning the shit dollar for China. All about the gas and the shit dollar. An Empire is at stake, and America will not go quietly into that good night without firing a shot, civilians and truth be damned.

aardwolf's picture


SWRichmond's picture

World Oil Transit Chokepoints Malacca

The Strait of Malacca, linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans, is the shortest sea route between the Middle East and growing Asian markets.

The Strait of Malacca, located between Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, links the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean. Malacca is the shortest sea route between Persian Gulf suppliers and the Asian markets—notably China, Japan, South Korea, and the Pacific Rim. Oil shipments through the Strait of Malacca supply China and Indonesia, two of the world's fastest growing economies. It is the key chokepoint in Asia with an estimated 15.2 million bbl/d flow in 2011, compared to 13.8 million bbl/d in 2007. Crude oil makes up about 90 percent of flows, with the remainder being petroleum products.

SWRichmond's picture

In other words, someone's arm is being twisted, and innocent people are being murdered in order for someone else to achieve their foreign policy (read: profit) objectives.

Urban Redneck's picture

Silly Greeks...

As if the IMF won't have sold all the ALL the Greek O&G assets to Exxon, Shell and BP long before this sees the light of day.

The wolves are simply eyeing up the buffet before the feast.

disabledvet's picture

Hard to argue with this. Plus Israel plus Cyprus.

Russia is simply an unreliable partner where nutty plans for "Global Domination." If the West really did take down that trip 7 Putin sure played the part of the anti European retard perfectly.

What about food supplies to Europe President Putin?

caconhma's picture

Dear Comrads,

Regardless of your wishful thinking, mafia Putin's Russia is in a deep shit.


I know an enemy of my enemy is always my friend. It is not a good thinking.

PartysOver's picture

Just Putin running circles around Obama.  With a couple of biatch slaps for good measure.  EU will side with Putin if wants to stay warm this winter.  Oh, and to keep Germany's GDP from crashing.

813kml's picture

Germany really needs to grow a pair and take charge of their destiny soon.

demoses's picture

If Germany jumps train all the other EU countrys will follow.

disabledvet's picture

Why should the Netherlands be part of the EU actually?

It's not like Germany is being very friendly here.

France looks like a total dud. Is anyone in charge of that country right now?

Racer's picture

"the European Commission has suspended approval of the project and urged member countries to freeze work on the pipeline until Russia and Ukraine resolve their differences."

LOLOLOL what sheer lunacy!

pods's picture

Funny how they think they have a say in things.

Can't wait until the Christmas headline:

Always about the energy.  


Ghordius's picture

note it's the old Barrosp EC. The new Juncker EC takes charge in November

disabledvet's picture

I'm sorry...what's his name again?

gallistic's picture

Can't tell if you are busting balls or really asking....


Bankster Kibble's picture

The European Commission used to be against the project because of their recently passed anti-monopoly legislation (a means to wrest control from Gazprom, or so they hoped).

Now it is because Russia and Ukraine do not get along.

What will the reason be next week?

Maybe it is really that USA is telling the EU to stop new pipelines from Russia, by fair means or foul.

Latina Lover's picture

Once Southstream is operational, the only westerners who will care about the Ukraine are the ones seeking mail order brides.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Don't forget the "male order" brides who support O. 

Although not many come from the region, I suspect.  Maybe from MENA places, but not Ukraine.

caconhma's picture

Wrong Comrades.

Just imagine back in 1940s Canada was under Nazi control/occupation. This is exactly the situation Obama's handlers put Russia into. Moscow is just a few hundred miles from Ukraine. It is like Damascus from Turkish border.


NoDebt's picture

Is there any irony that Putin is promoting the building of pipelines and forging alliances everywhere they go, while Obama actively works against building pipelines and pisses off every ally we have left?

Somewhere in there is a bad joke.

Latina Lover's picture

No more Irony than the 'unfortunate coincidence' of the ML 17 shot down at the opportune time to  propagandize the blocking the south stream in 'retailiation'.

QQQBall's picture

No pipelines does not piss the Oracle off...

disabledvet's picture

Natural gas prices are down 25% in just three months.

"In worthless dollar terms."

Ohio will be producing more energy than the entire Middle East by this time next year.

Iwanttoknow's picture

io\i think you are the biggest reservoir of hot gas.

CrashisOptimistic's picture . . . Greek victory will be investments in oil off Crete that has been known about for decades, but no one has paid to explore it -- because odds are it is shit.

pods's picture

I liked how they said Greece was emerging from the crisis.


Winston Churchill's picture

Sinking into the adriatic , I think they meant.

disabledvet's picture

They're gonna need infinity energy over there of prosecute the war on terror..."and yes they have it" and "yes, Wall Street will invest in it."

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

In that case, all eyes on... Bulgaria.  That's where this thing stands or falls. 

If they are on board, so are Serbia and Hungary.  Running via Croatia and Slovenia (rather than Hungary) adds risk and complications, given that both have a centuries old tradition of being feudal lackeys - albeit Hapsburg (Austrian) lackeys.

Expect US banksters (GS) to put the Bulgarian government (or pension funds) into debt with GS paperware and the NSA recording it all, thus gaining leverage.  Bulgarian decision makers and media need to me immunized against this predictable US move.

You can do your part:  Buy Bulgarian wine.  Excellent quality at great prices.  Much better value than any EU or overpriced US wines.

Ghordius's picture

"Greece, which not long ago faced possible expulsion from the EU, is positioning itself as part of yet another alternate route."

expulsion? Not quite. Only Drachma instead of EUR

Yet all this is going on since long, including "Nabucco". It's not unlikely that all projects will eventually be done

The current EC has steered the discussion towards "level field" fair pluralistic non-oligopolistic, non-monopolistic gas markets, with distributors not affiliated to neither producers nor cnsumers

Poland's Tusk has offered the alternative: the EU as single buyer

We'll see what the November 2014 e-Team will propose

teslaberry's picture

if germany supports southstream, then the only possible country with any meanigful participation in the EU opposing this is FRANCE and the UK> and the UK is close to pulling out of the EU. so FRANCE> 



disabledvet's picture

Oh, and "here come Teslas and Nissans."

No shortage of sun in France, Spain or Greece.

Infinite QE's picture

The momentum towards the creation of an Anti-Bolshevik Federation is epic! The ziocrazies are set to be checkmated out of existence.

WeNeedaRealGovt's picture

Again, ZH cheering on Putin and Friends.  Is that the name of the Faux 8pm news show?  Watch out BillO...

mandea's picture

russia, the only thing they do is getting the gas out of ground. They should be limited to this, otherwise theri contribution to the world is 0.

Oh, sure, oligarchs, who hate the Western world but ask their kids to live in the Western world. 

I am just sick of all this novarussia shit, with its religious and nationalist connotations, everything being based on this gas. Come on, Western world does not have to return to the middle ages, beacasue that's putin: middle ages. BTW, how long this guy is president from? 10-15 yrs? or 20?

it is sick, even for a north-coreean-style of site like ZH. Are you RT-payd trolls happy?

Putin will loose, badly, really badly, and you know why?

No-one wants to live in russia, if you look at the emabassies, every decent russian want to emigrat, but not to BRICS(:))) ) but to the western wolrd.

When the trend will reverse, then BRICS won.

Well, wait 100-200yrs.

Omen IV's picture

GOD - made you a clown - you have no choice in life!

angel_of_joy's picture

Boy, are you stupid ! No wonder things are so bad in your little backyard...