Saipem Gets Green Light for South Stream Pipelay Project

castoro sei pipelay vessel
Saipem’s semi-submersible pipelay vessel Castoro Sei at port Burgas, Bulgaria, Sept 2014, image courtesy South Stream Transport B.V.

Saipem has just been given the go-ahead by South Stream Transport BV to commence construction of a multi-billion dollar 931 kilometer subsea gas pipeline that will connect Russia to Europe through the Black Sea. Water depths for this pipeline will reach up to 2200 meters.

South Stream Transport B.V. is wholly-owned by Gazprom.

south stream offshore pipeline
The Russian Sector (the Project) of the South Stream Offshore Pipeline extends approximately
230 km from the coast near the town of Anapa, in the Krasnodar region, to the border of the
Turkish exclusive economic zones.

Russian natural gas also flows via a land-based pipeline to Europe via Ukraine, but as the graphic above shows, the South Stream Offshore Pipeline intentionally skirts the Ukrainian exclusive economic zone which will allow unimpeded natural gas to flow to Europe.  At the same time, this pipeline will provide Russia a means to restrict the flow of natural gas that enters Ukraine, should there be political reasons to do so, without affecting European deliveries.

The SSOP will consist of four pipelines that will provide up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year upon completion in 2018.