VIENNA, April 29 Gazprom has signed a
memorandum of understanding with Austria's OMV to
construct a section of Gazprom's disputed South Stream gas
pipeline ending in Austria, OMV said.
The pipeline is designed to bypass Ukraine, which is located
on the way of Russian gas to Europe, and is facing stiff
resistance from European officials, who are trying to cut
European reliance on Russian energy.
OMV said the planned capacity of the Austrian section was 32
billion cubic metres a year, and that the two parties aimed to
get the necessary permits by the end of 2015 with full
commissioning of the Austrian section expected by January 2018.
"South Stream project is aimed at enhancing energy security
of the European consumers, with has always been regarded as the
top priority for Gazprom," Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller
said in the OMV statement.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, editing by William Hardy)