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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gas Pipeline Launch Delayed to 2010

Gas monopoly Gazprom plans to launch its North European Pipeline in 2010, CEO Alexei Miller said Tuesday, signaling a three-year postponement of the $5.7 billion project.

"The North European Pipeline will be launched in 2010 and, of course, completion of this project will allow us to increase supplies to Germany and other European Union countries," a Gazprom statement quoted Miller as saying.

Gazprom is in the midst of f stalled merger with state oil firm Rosneft, which analysts warn may distract the firm from operational projects worth billions of dollars per year, such as commercial development of vast east Siberian gas fields.

Gazprom had previously said the pipeline would be finished in 2007, reaching full capacity of 19-30 billion cubic meters per year in 2009.

Gazprom is currently mapping out the 917-kilometer segment which runs across Russian territory and developing the South Russian gas deposit, which will supply the pipeline.

The pipeline, also known as the North TransGas pipeline, will connect the Baltic port of Vyborg to Greifswald in Germany. The offshore part will be 1,189 kilometers long.

Germany, where Miller made his comments, already imports around a third of its gas from Russia and the pipeline will allow the firm to boost exports to a number of European nations.

Gazprom is working on the pipeline project with Germany's Ruhrgas, which owns 6.5 percent of the gas giant. Royal Dutch/Shell, Total, Wintershall, BP and Fortum have also shown interest in participating in the project.