ENI Completes Blue Stream Pipeline

Saipem 7000, the semisubmersible vessel, has carried out the laying of the first of the two lines that will bring, at full capacity, 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Russia to Turkey.

The record-breaking gas pipeline Blue Stream is now a reality. The first line of this unique infrastructure that connects Russia to Turkey has been completed. Saipem 7000 laid the 380 km-long sub-sea pipeline at a record water-depth of 2,150 meters.

The advanced Italian and world technology used in the project implementation, the high-quality materials and the sophisticated financial structure raised to carry out the project, make the Blue Stream project a world-wide unique project and one of the most significant results of the strategic alliance between Eni and Gazprom.

The pipeline will carry, at full capacity, 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to Turkey. The offshore work began at the end of June 2001. Saipem 7000 crossed the Bosphorus Strait on August 6 and began the deep-water laying work in October. The implementation of the Blue Stream project involves a US$2.3 billion investment.

The 24-inch pipe will be connected in the coming days to the already existing section laid offshore Turkey. Castoro 8, another vessel of Saipem's fleet, will carry out the work. The line will then be ready for final tests and the beginning of operations.

The laying of the first line of Blue Stream gives body to the commitments undertaken three years ago by Mr. Vittorio Mincato, Chief Executive Officer of Eni, with Mr. Bulent Ecevit, Prime Minister of Turkey, and subsequently confirmed with Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia.

"Eni is implementing one of the most technologically advanced gas projects in the world - Mr. Vittorio Mincato said - Blue Stream will be the main source of gas supply to Turkey. The completion of the first line of the gas pipeline once again confirms Eni's strong implementation capabilities. Blue Stream is another important step in our relationship with Gazprom, with whom we signed a Strategic Alliance in 1998, and with the Russian Federation, of which Eni is the major trade partner."