Bloomberg: Gazprom to Spend $2 Billion to Boost EU Gas Flows via Belarus

OAO Gazprom will invest $2 billion to expand Belarusian natural-gas pipelines and boost fuel transit shipments from the nation to the European Union by 30 percent, Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller said.

Expanding gas storage facilities will cost a further $1.1 billion, and the Russian gas export monopoly plans to approve its three-year and 10-year investment plans for Belarus this month, Miller said near Minsk, where Gazprom opened a gas distribution station today.

Gazprom, which meets about a quarter of European gas demand, is investing in new pipelines to bypass Ukraine, now the main transit route for Russian gas. Gazprom has repeatedly clashed with Ukraine over prices and volumes in gas contracts, which led to supply disruptions to E.U. members.

The gas exporter is shifting some Europe-bound volumes to Belarus, where it owns the pipeline network, and the Nord Stream pipeline, a direct link to Germany from Russia under the Baltic Sea. It will also start construction of the South Stream pipeline to central Europe under the Black Sea next month.  MORE

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