BUDAPEST, Hungary, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Hungarian officials signed off on a final investment decision for the South Stream natural gas pipeline, Russian energy company Gazprom said.
Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Gazprom management committee, met with energy officials in Hungary to sign a shareholder agreement for South Stream Hungary Zrt., a joint venture representing Hungary's commitment to the project.
South Stream is a natural gas pipeline slated for southern Europe. It's part of Gazprom's efforts to expand gas transit options for European consumers as the bulk of the gas headed there runs through Soviet-era pipelines in Ukraine.
"The project for building the South Stream gas pipeline jointly with our Hungarian partners is a crucial element in the new architecture of the European energy security," Medvedev said in a statement.
The Hungarian section of the gas pipeline will stretch about 142 miles. Last year, Hungary received about 220 billion cubic feet of natural gas from Gazprom.
Gazprom this week reached a similar deal with Serbia.
The South Stream pipeline is designed to carry as much as 2.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to Europe each year.