Italian Saipem may receive Gazprom’s order to construct alternative pipe to Turkey

After February 19, Saipem expects for clear guidance from its client regarding its further actions on the South Stream project, the company said yesterday.

In March 2014, consortium South Stream Transport (SST) signed a contract with Saipem on building of the first line of the offshore section of South Stream to the amount of 2 billion euro. But after Russia refused to build South Stream through Bulgaria in December and announced the construction of the pipe through Turkey, SST suspended the contract with Saipem. Then all foreign participants of the consortium - Eni, EdF and Wintershall - sold their share in SST to Gazprom.

Moreover, Eni, which also owns 43% of Saipem, was one of the first that cast doubt on the implementation of South Stream and announced its possible withdrawal from the project. The refusal of Gazprom to build South Stream in favor of Turkish Stream eventually questioned the possible involvement of Saipem in the new project.

However, Saipem, it seems, shouldn’t worry. It can get a contract to build the first line of the offshore section of Turkish Stream, two sources close to Gazprom said to the Vedomosti. "The final decision will be taken in the coming days," - said one of them. A representative of Gazprom declined to comment. Representatives of Eni and Saipem didn’t respond to inquiries of the Vedomosti.

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