March 23, 2009 / 3:28 PM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX-How gas flows to Europe

March 23 (Reuters) - Europe welcomed a Ukrainian “master plan” to modernise infrastructure for carrying Russian gas to the European Union but Moscow warned on Monday that the bloc’s energy security might suffer if Russia was not consulted. [nLN370353]

About a fifth of Europe’s gas comes from Russia via Ukraine.

Here are some details about how the gas gets to Europe from Russia, and some of the new pipeline projects aimed at bringing more Russian gas to Europe and diversifying supplies.

* Eighty percent of gas bound for Europe travels via Ukraine.

* Germany and Poland can also get gas via the Yamal pipeline, which crosses Belarus. Its capacity is 30 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year compared to 120 bcm via Ukraine. Gazprom has increased exports through Yamal to help compensate for lower flows through Ukraine.

* A third export route is the Blue Stream pipeline, which runs from Russia to Turkey under the Black Sea.


* YAMAL-EUROPE PIPELINE - The pipeline, which runs from the Yamal peninsula in Russia’s Arctic north to Frankfurt on Oder on the Polish-German border, carries Russian gas for more than 4,000 km (2,485 miles). Its capacity is 32.3 bcm a year but the expansion of the pipeline, expected to be completed by 2010, should boost capacity to 67 bcm.

* GALSI PIPELINE - The 1,350 km (910 mile) Galsi gas pipeline could bring up to 10 bcm a year of Algerian gas to Italy through Sardinia when it opens in 2012. Italy is pushing the developers, including state-run Algerian gas company Sonatrach and Italy’s Enel (ENEI.MI), to finish the project before then.

* TRANSMED PIPELINE - Sonatrach is also working to boost the capacity of the existing 27 bcm/year Transmed gas pipeline which runs from Algeria through Tunisia and into Sicily by 6.5 bcm per year.

* MEDGAZ PIPELINE - The 210 km-long, 8 bcm a year Medgaz pipeline is planned to bring Algerian gas to Spain from mid-2009. The Sonatrach-led project involves Spain’s Cepsa CEP.MC, Iberdrola (IBE.MC), Endesa (ELE.MC) and GDF Suez GSZ.PA.

* NABUCCO PIPELINE - Nabucco is a 7.9 billion euro project to transport gas from Turkey to Austria through Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. Construction of the 3,300-km (2,050 mile) pipeline is scheduled to start in 2011 and first deliveries are expected in 2014 with an initial annual capacity of 8-10 bcm. It could transport up to 31 bcm of gas a year from Central Asia and the Middle East to Europe by 2020, reducing dependency on Russian gas, and may be used to bring Iranian gas to Europe. Austrian oil and gas group OMV (OMVV.VI) heads the consortium, which includes Hungary’s MOL (MOLB.BU), Turkey’s Botas, Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz, Romania’s Transgaz, and German utility RWE (RWEG.DE) * BALTIC SEA PIPELINE - The 7.4 billion euro gas pipeline would run 1,200 km from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany under the Baltic sea. The Nord Stream, majority owned by Russian gas monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM), is building the pipeline with Germany’s BASF BASF.DE and E.ON EONG.DE and Dutch company Gasunie and has plans to build two parallel gas pipeline legs of 750 miles (1,200 km) each, the first by 2011 and the second by 2012. Total annual capacity will be 55 bcm. * CASPIAN GAS PIPELINE - Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have agreed plans for a new natural gas pipeline around the Caspian Sea to deliver up to 20 bcm of gas per year by 2009-2010. Critics say the deal tightens Russia’s grip on gas exports from the region, while Moscow says it would create additional routes to the European Union.

* HUNGARY GAS PIPELINE - Hungary’s MOL plans to build a 100-km expansion of its gas pipeline towards Ukraine by 2010. The pipeline would help meet Hungary’s rising domestic gas needs, but is not an alternative to other planned pipelines such as Nabucco or Blue Stream, MOL says.

* SOUTH STREAM PIPELINE - Gazprom and Italian oil firm Eni (ENI.MI) plan to build a 10 billion euro pipeline, seen as a rival to Nabucco, to take Russian gas under the Black Sea to southeast Europe, avoiding Ukraine, with which Russia has had pricing debates. Russia has already secured Bulgarian, Hungarian and Greek participation in the project and has won the right to route South Stream through its ally Serbia.

Sources: Reuters; U.S. Energy Information Administration (; Yamal-Europe Gas Pipeline (; Caspian Pipeline Consortium, Medgaz consortium; ( (Writing by Daniel Fineren; Additional writing and editing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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