On Friday, Russian natural gas giant Gazprom announced it has begun construction of its South Stream gas pipeline project, designed to increase gas deliveries to Southern and Central Europe.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the ceremony at the Russkaya compressor station site near Anapa in Krasnodarsky Krai. Also in attendance were representatives from multiple companies involved in the project, and from the countries through which South Stream may run.
When completed, South Stream will run from Russia under the Black Sea off the Bulgarian Coast, 900 kilometers in length, and as much as 2 kilometers underwater. Precise routes for the gas pipeline have not yet been chosen, and engineering studies are still being conducted, but one likely route emerges from the sea to travel up toward Slovenia and Austria via Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary. A second route could move toward Greece and Italy.
Deliveries through the pipeline are expected to begin in late 2015.