Russian, Italian & Turkish PMs Meet in Durusu

A meeting between the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan took place today in Durusu, located on the Turkish coast of the Black Sea. Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni, Gazprom Chairman Alexey Miller and Botas Chairman of the Board and General Manager Riza Çiftci were present at the meeting.

Durusu is the landing place of the Blue Stream subsea pipeline. This pipeline represents one of the most relevant and complex projects realized in the natural gas transport industry in terms of design and technology.

The first line of the compression station of Dzhugba, on the Russian coast of the Black Sea, started in early November 2005. It features three gas-pumping plants and three turbo-generators, allowing pipes to increase gas capacity.

Blue Stream pipeline, equally owned by Eni and Gazprom, carries Russian gas to Turkey through two 390 km-long offshore pipeline crossing the Black Sea, reaching a record-breaking depth of 2,150 meters. Snamprogetti and Saipem collaborated in the design and build of the project. Snamprogetti carried out the engineering work while Saipem installed the pipes for the crossing of the Black Sea. The laying of the subsea pipeline was completed in December 2002 with an overall investment of US $2.4 billion. The first gas was shipped in February 2003.

Since the start-up of the Blue Stream 8.2 billion cubic meters of gas have been delivered to Botas. In 2004 3.2 billion cubic meters of gas were transported into Turkey. The expected amount of gas to be distributed in 2005 is 4.5 billion cubic meters. Working at full capacity, the two pipes lying deepwater of the Black Sea will carry 16 billion cubic meters per year. Eni's equity capacity is 8 billion cubic meters of gas, which have been allocated to Botas.

"Blue Stream is an example of the successful strategic cooperation between Eni, Gazprom and Botas" - CEO of Eni Paolo Scaroni declared - "which have completed a project that many considered impossible. The project's success is due to the excellent technological and managerial skills of its partners. This occasion witnesses Turkey's growing role as a junction between Russia's significant energy resources and European and other international markets".

The Blue Stream project is made of three sections:

Russian Federation: a 370 km-long onshore pipe that carries gas from Stavropol, Southern Russia, to Dzhubga on the Black Sea and the compression station at Krasnodar. Work on the Russian territory was financed, realized and managed by Gazprom.

Black Sea: two subsea pipes created by the Blue Stream Pipeline Company - jointly owned by Eni and Gazprom - connect the compression station in Russia's Dzhubga with the Durusu (Samsun) station on the Turkish coast; the section in competence of Eni and Gazprom also features a compression station in Dzhubga.

Turkey: the Turkish section is 470 km long. Financed and created by Turkey's state company Botas, it connects with the distribution grid in Ankara, Turkey's capital.

The extreme technological complexity of the project stemmed from challenging conditions including particular coastal shores, sea floor depths varying from few dozens up to 2,150 meters, corrosive sea environment and extremely steep slopes. Eni used the Saipem 7000 vessel to lay the pipeline in the Black Sea Deepwater. On average, 3,000 meters of pipe were laid per day, with peaks of 4,800, even in extreme environmental conditions.