The Russian government has signed an agreement with the Government of Macedonia on cooperation in building a gas pipeline branch from the "South Stream" in the republic. The project has good prospects as Macedonia desperately needs Russian gas, and its prices for the country are among the highest in the region.
According to the document, in case of confirmation of the feasibility of building on the basis of the analysis of Gazprom and the "Macedonian energy resources" establish a joint venture for the project of gas pipeline branch with an equal distribution of shares (50%).
"Macedonia is interested in expanding the supply of gas to increase energy security"
To participate in the company is also able to attract new shareholders with further redistribution of shares. After the analysis of the project participants will approve the route of a gas lateral and its throughput. Rights to use all the facilities of a gas lateral owned by Gazprom.
Under the agreement, the Macedonian side should not impose any restrictions on Russian investments in Macedonia, carried out in the framework of the agreement, and shall provide the joint venture favorable customs and tax regimes.
Specific amounts, terms and conditions of supply of natural gas in Macedonia are fixed in the contracts between Gazprom and JSC "Macedonian energy resources," reports
"South Stream" — a gas pipeline through which gas is to be delivered to Europe, bypassing Ukraine. The total length of the road transportation system will be 2,446 km, of which 900 km is part of the sea. The design capacity of the pipeline — 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
The marine section of the gas pipeline "South Stream" will run under the Black Sea from the compressor station "Russian" in the Russian coast to the Bulgarian coast. The gas will come from the area receiving terminal in the city of Varna through the territory of Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to northern Italy with the construction of branch pipelines from Serbia to Croatia and Republika Srpska within Bosnia and Herzegovina. The total length of the main gas pipeline in Central and Southern Europe is 1455 km without taps.
Thus, the tube may acquire another outlet. "South Stream" has already started to be built — at the end of last year was the official start of construction. Moreover, it was previously assumed that the pipeline will be built only in 2013, but the pressure forced the Russian competitors move the date. The first Russian gas through the pipe will go in December 2015.
Recently, "South Stream" was delivered from one of the main competitors — the gas pipeline Nabucco. Consortium for the second stage of Azerbaijani field "Shah Deniz" did not choose the Nabucco project as a transportation route. Thus, the pipeline was deprived of the resource base, therefore, its construction has lost all meaning. The gas will be transported via the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which in the strict sense of the competitor "South Stream" is not, although it weakens the position of Gazprom, since it allows to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian gas.
The main problem of the "South Stream" is not so much in the occupancy rate, as in the marketing of gas through the pipeline. And it's not falling demand from European consumers, and that the "South Stream" and has not received a special status and can get under the Third Energy, said general director of the National Energy Security Fund Konstantin Simonov. This means that Gazprom will have to reserve 50% of the pipe on the European part of the land under a gas of independent producers. This may be Azerbaijani gas, but not in such large volumes. As a result, the pipe can be half empty.
That is, history may repeat itself with the "Nord Stream". Deputy preboards Gazprom Alexander Medvedev said in early June that Gazprom require unrestricted access to the gas pipeline Opal, connecting endpoint "Nord Stream" on the Baltic coast of Germany and the Czech Republic. Now because of the actions of the Third Energy Gazprom can only use half the capacity of the gas pipeline Opal. As a result, "Nord Stream" is only half filled.
Earlier, Gazprom has already applied for the preservation of a 100-percent reserve pipeline capacity Opal. And the governor of Germany in 2012, granted the request. However, the Commission has decided that, in accordance with the Third Energy Package, Gazprom may be granted no more than 50% of the capacity pipe. Previously, Alexander Medvedev explained that the second half of the power Opal is reserved for other suppliers, but physically they are not, and it is unlikely they ever will. Demand for pipeline capacity Opal from other suppliers not, since they do not have gas.
"We hope that reason and logic will prevail, because the pipelines should not be delayed. It also sets a precedent for the "South Stream" — said Medvedev.
Co-director of the analytical department Investkafe Gregory Birge notes that the new outlet in Macedonia has good prospects. "First, Gazprom's cooperation with Macedonia is from 1997, the country is interested in expanding the supply of gas to increase energy security. Second, a project of this unplanned branch can be extended for export to neighboring Albania and Kosovo, which may reduce the price of gas for Macedonia "- he told the newspaper VIEW.
He recalls that now gas prices for Macedonia are among the highest in Europe, holding an average of 100-150 euros higher than in neighboring Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria.