Montenegro will be connected to the South Stream gas pipeline, Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Friday.
"The parties have discussed technical opportunities to join Montenegro to the South Stream project, after the country showed it was interested at the end of last year. We have decided to work out a feasibility study to build a gas pipeline bend to Montenegro," Gazprom said in a statement, as cited by RIA Novosti.
Montenegro expressed interest in the project in October 2011 without giving details about its participation.
The South Stream pipeline is to carry up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas to central and southern Europe.
The project aims to diversify supply routes for Russian gas by circumventing transit countries such as Ukraine.
Shareholders in the project are Gazprom (50%), Eni (Italy, 20%), Wintershall (Germany, 15%) and EdF (France, 15%).
Russia has signed agreements for the construction of the gas conduit with Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria.
Construction works have been scheduled to start in December 2012, and not 2013 as previously planned.
The South Stream gas pipeline is to be launched in December 2015 and is expected to reach full capacity in 2018.
The total cost of the project is currently estimated at around EUR 15.5 B.
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